As we begin the new school year, cases of COVID-19 and respiratory illness are being identified in schools. We believe it is important to address the changes to the COVID-19 contact tracing process as well as the measures put in place to keep staff and students safe at school.
As of July 29, 2021, Alberta Health Services is no longer required to notify school divisions when a positive case of COVID-19 is connected to a school. This means, our COVID-19 contact tracing procedure has changed as we enter the new school year. If a case of COVID-19 is identified in your child’s school, an initial letter will be sent by your school principal. A page has been developed on our division website to identify schools with active cases.
In an effort to help staff and families better understand the updated contact tracing process, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions.
Enhanced Safety Measures effective Monday, September 13, 2021
Currently, our schools have several health and safety best practices that are followed daily. In an effort to limit the spread of illness in schools, the Board of Trustees made a motion to put enhanced measures in place. These enhanced measures will begin on Monday, September 13.
- Masking is strongly recommended (but not mandated) for all staff and students in common areas or where they cannot physically distance.
- Masking is mandatory for all students riding a bus.
- All visitors, including central office staff, are required to mask when they enter any school in the jurisdiction for any reason.
- Each school will now have an atomizer which is capable of completely sanitizing a classroom in approximately ten minutes. This will allow schools to sanitize a classroom very quickly during the school day if needed.
- Schools are to suspend large indoor gatherings of students. E.g. A school-wide assembly in the gymnasium. Outdoor school-wide events may continue.
- Students participating in activities in public venues during the school day must follow all health guidelines for public spaces.
- Regular hand washing and sanitizing will continue in schools.
- Schools will continue to encourage good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
- As of July 29, 2021, Alberta Health Services is no longer notifying school divisions when a positive case is connected to a school. Our school division will notify parents upon the first occurrence of COVID-19 in their child’s school. The division will maintain school-specific information on our website after the initial case has been identified.
Medicine Hat Catholic Schools continue to:
- Remind families to screen daily for symptoms using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist and isolate if they have core symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
- Ask that staff and students stay home if they are feeling sick
- Offer a supportive environment for anyone who chooses to wear a mask at school
- Deep clean schools each evening and disinfect high touch surfaces throughout the school day
- Promote regular handwashing and sanitizing among staff and students
- Support physical distancing
Divison Covid-19 Cases
COVID-19 Contact Tracing FAQ
Government of Alberta 2021-2022 school year plan
Government of Alberta Guidance for respiratory illness prevention and management in schools
Government of Alberta Preparing for a New School Year
We strongly believe in supporting a comprehensive approach to mental health and wellness that includes nutrition, exercise and our faith. Our school division continues to work with local public health officials and implement additional measures such as mandatory masking and other health requirements as determined by public health.
We thank you all for your support and understanding.
Superintendent of Schools
Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education