Holy Spirit's COVID-19 Information page

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information
Posted on 03/12/2020
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We understand our students, staff, and families have questions about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We encourage you to refer to official sources - such as Alberta Health Services (AHS) - for the most accurate information.

As in all health related situations, Holy Spirit works closely with local and provincial health authorities to ensure the health of our students and families. We are in ongoing communication with the Medical Officer of Health to monitor the situation in our area. We continue to take the actions recommended by AHS to prevent and mitigate acquisition and transmission of COVID-19.

At this time, all Alberta schools have been directed to remain open:

“What is important to know is that school closures are not universally agreed on as an effective intervention to prevent spread. In some other provinces that have chosen to close schools, they have not taken the other aggressive measures we announced yesterday.

"It should be noted that the World Health Organization does not recommend school closure as the only way to prevent spread in the age group of young children. Instead, they also offer a safe schools checklist which describes the ways that school environments can be kept as safe as possible for students, teachers and staff.

"Given the current situation in Alberta, the fact that any school closure would need to be in place for months, not weeks to be effective, and the fact that students may still be at risk of spreading infection in other settings besides schools, I have advised that school closures not be implemented at this time.

"To be clear, schools, daycares and post-secondary institutions can remain open.”

— Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health, statement Friday, March 13, 2020.

Use the Parent Guide for School Attendance:

If you have any questions about whether or not your child should attend school, refer to the the Parent Guide for School Attendance below.  

Infographic Guidelines for Assessing if your child should attend school.

Stay Home if You Are Sick 

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has directed that there is ZERO TOLERANCE for children or staff with any respiratory symptoms attending schools or school division facilities across Alberta. Any student or staff member with respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, mild cold, or flu-like symptoms(e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and including symptoms that may seem like a mild cold) must inform the school immediately and remain home for 14-days while they monitor their symptoms. 

Self- Isolate if Returning from Travel Outside of Canada 

Parents/guardians of students/children and staff are informed that by the direction of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health that any student or staff member who returns from travel outside of Canada must contact the school to notify of their return, and as directed by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, self-isolate for 14-days before returning to school or school division facilities

During self isolation, monitor for the development of any possible symptoms. If possible COVID-19 symptoms do develop, please notify Alberta Health at (need appropriate link). If students or staff are tested for COVID-19, those who test negative will be advised individually about return to school and work.

Mass Gatherings

In keeping with the Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health's directive to restrict mass gatherings, all of large school-based events and activities within our schools have been cancelled until further notice. This includes sports events, fine arts shows and school wide assemblies.

Field Trips

As Albertans are NOT recommended to travel outside of the country at this time, and given the fluidity of the situation surrounding COVID-19, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division has determined that all division field trips scheduled to take place outside of the division's boundary will be cancelled. The Board Office will work closely with travel providers, schools, and parents to arrange for refunds where possible.

Proper Hygiene and Precautions 

A new virus such as the COVID-19 can create anxiety and be difficult for students/children to understand, especially if someone in their school or family is sick, or they see or hear troubling messages on the radio, internet or television. It is normal for students/children to feel worried or nervous and have questions. All staff in schools and parents at home can support children by reassuring them about their personal safety and health.  Let them know that it is okay to be concerned and encourage them to participate in the things they can do to stay healthy:

- Hand washing: Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing.
- Cough/sneeze etiquette: Cough and sneeze into arm or tissue.
- Stay home when sick: Students/children should tell parents if not feeling well, and together, make a plan to stay home from school.
- Keep clean: Keep hands away from face and mouth.
- Stay healthy: Eathealthy foods, keep physically active, and get enough sleep.

Redirected and Increased Disinfecting

Our caretaking staff remain vigilant and have increased in their regular cleaning and disinfecting of high-traffic, high-touch surfaces (e.g., door handles, handrails,  telephones in common areas, etc...).  The division has also provided for more hand sanitizers in our schools, and more handwashing signs have been placed in prominent locations as reminders for our students. 

If you have a younger child, please support them at home by supervising and assisting in hand hygiene. In schools, instruction will be provided by staff ad communication will continue with students regarding hand-washing, sneeze/cough etiquette, and preventing illness.

Health Information:

Please ensure that you are accessing high quality information from reliable medical sources. If you have any questions about your personal health situation, contact 8-1-1 (Health Link) or your health care provider directly.

Alberta Health Services has just released the following FAQs. 

 

Additional Resources: 

Holy Spirit Catholic School Division:

Past messages from the school division 

Alberta Government: 

Alberta Guidance for Schools and Child Care Programs: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

AHS Updates on COVID-19  

COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool 

Self Isolation Information Sheet 

Help Prevent the Spread Posters

Additional:

Government of Canada's 2019 New Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Outbreak Notification - English | Simplified Chinese | French

Government of Canada's Travel Health Notices

World Health Organization’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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