COVID-19 Weekly Regional Update
Several confirmed cases of COVID-19 has been reported in several schools throughout the province this past week.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw addressed those cases and said they were not unexpected and that Alberta Health Services worked quickly. While it is disappointing to have cases reported just a few days after the opening of schools, she encouraged parents to talk to their children about it will mean to self-isolate, and even if a test comes back negative, the child will have to self isolate for 14 days at home.
Dr. Hinshaw said the cases in schools was spread through community transmission with close contacts and said all students must follow all the pre-cautions inside and outside of school. She has also written an open letter to all parents to address some of these questions and concerns.
The largest affected outbreak school to date is Ross Sheppard High, a public school in northwest Edmonton, has sent nearly 100 students into isolation. Other Edmonton schools that had confirmed cases include: Archbishop MacDonald High School, Louis St. Laurent, and Ecole Sainte-Jeanne-D’Arc. In Calgary, confirmed cases include: Bridlewood School, St. Angela School, and Lester B. Pearson High School.
Other affected schools in more rural areas include: Raymond High School, Lawrence Grassi Middle School in Canmore, and St. Mary’s Elementary School in Fort Vermilion.
According to provincial health guidelines for Alberta classrooms, a single case in a school population is not considered an outbreak but will trigger an investigation. If two or more cases are confirmed within a given school, a letter will be sent to guardians, and contact tracing will begin.
In order to trigger an outbreak response, the two cases must be confirmed within a 14-day period or be considered epidemiologically linked. Five or more confirmed cases will mean the outbreak is publicly reported on the Alberta Health outbreak website. In the case of an outbreak, educators will work with provincial health officials to decide whether the school should close.
Five or more confirmed cases will mean the outbreak is publicly reported on the Alberta Health outbreak website. In the case of an outbreak, educators will work with provincial health officials to decide whether the school should close.
On Sept. 3 the Alberta government released an outbreak response plan. The purpose of the resource guide is to assist schools before, during, and after a COVID-19 outbreak. It states that school officials will work closely with health officials to monitor for any signs of a possible outbreak. Even a single confirmed case will mean the school is placed on “alert status.” With a single case, contact tracing will begin and a notification will be sent to parents.
The total number of confirmed cases in Alberta as of Sept. 8 is 15,093. The number of active cases is 1,692. Forty-five people were hospitalized with 10 people in ICU. A total of 247 deaths have been reported. The total number of tests completed is 1,052,466 with 825,046 people tested.
In Vegreville/Minburn County there were 7 confirmed cases, 2 active cases, 5 recovered cases, and 0 deaths. In Two Hills County, there were 14 confirmed cases, 2 active cases, 11 recovered cases, and 1 death. In Lamont County, there were 9 confirmed cases, 3 active cases, 6 recovered cases, and 0 deaths. In Tofield (Beaver County East) there were 15 confirmed cases, 0 active cases, 15 recovered cases, and 0 deaths. In Viking (Beaver County West) there are 74 confirmed cases, 0 active cases, 74 recovered cases, and 0 deaths.