The Government of Alberta is resuming COVID-19 public reporting in schools. The government announced Tuesday that contact notification in schools, clarifying COVID-19 outbreak definitions, providing rapid testing kits and encouraging school authorities to have proof of COVID-19 vaccination policies for adults would be in place to help protect students.
“As we have said all along, as the pandemic evolves we will make adjustments when necessary to keep students and staff safe,” said Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange. “The actions we are taking right now will help students to continue learning safely in person as we combat this fourth wave. Keeping students, parents and school communities safe remains our top priority.”
The public reporting will resume Wednesday with Alberta Health identifying schools with at least two COVID-19 cases online and publicly reporting COVID-19 outbreaks where 10 or more cases are recorded within a 14-day period that were infectious while at school.
Parents will be informed starting Oct. 12 if their child may have been exposed to a COVID-19 case that was infectious while at school. An interim process will be in place using daily data supplied by AHS.
Targeted rapid testing for kindergarten to Grade 6 schools experiencing outbreaks will be available because vaccines are unavailable to that age group. Tests will be distributed to parents and staff in late October, and will begin with schools that are in an outbreak status at that time with 10 or more cases of COVID-19 that were infectious while in school. Rapid testing will be voluntary with tests administered at home by parents as a screening tool only for students who are asymptomatic.
GOA is also strongly encouraging all school authorities to put policies in place that require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for teachers, staff and anyone who enters a school other than students.
Sarah Hoffman, NDP Critic for Education, said the COVID situation in Alberta schools has spiralled out of control due to the gross negligence of Adriana LaGrange and UCP MLAs who remained silent.
“The UCP have put children’s safety at risk,” Hoffman said. “No other province is seeing the disastrous rate of infection we have in Alberta. The measures described by LaGrange today are too little, too late. Students, staff, and families have been calling out for more safety measures for weeks.