Last week, the Saskatchewan Health Authority made an announcement that due to rising COVID-19 cases, they are unable to complete contact tracing in a classroom; therefore effective immediately, if a positive case is identified within a classroom, all students in that class will self-isolate.
According to a November 20 letter to families from Prairie Spirit School Division, “The SHA will communicate the length of the self-isolation for those in the class. Moving students directly into self-isolation is a new strategy designed to keep everyone safe.”
The letter continued to state that the new process may require children to be directed to self-isolate with very short notice. “As a result, it is important to families to be prepared with a plan for their child in this situation.”
On November 22, Prairie Spirit School Division announced a positive case of COVID-19 in an individual at Valley Manor Elementary School in Martensville.
“We all have a shared responsibility to decrease the risk of COVID-19 entering schools. Our school plans contain many important measures, processes and protocols which add layers of protection for students and staff,” PSSD Communication Manager Brenda Erickson, stated in an email.
Students and families are reminded to be diligent in performing the daily health screening, stay home if ill, call HealthLine 811 if exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, practice proper hand hygiene, maintain physical distancing as much as possible, wear a mask when appropriate, and do everything we can to keep each other safe.
On November 20 and 21, the SHA notified the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools of a positive case of COVID-19 in an individual at various schools, including École Holy Mary Catholic School in Martensville. The notice provided stated that risk of exposure for anyone not considered a close contact remains low. Affected classrooms or cohorts within the schools with a positive case switched to online instruction starting November 23.
“With the increased number of positive COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan—and in particular in the Saskatoon region—it is becoming increasingly important that we all follow health measures to decrease both the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and the risk of it entering schools. Students and families are reminded to be diligent in performing the daily health screening, stay home if you are ill, call HealthLine 811 if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, practice proper hand hygiene, maintain physical distancing as much as possible, wear a mask when appropriate, and do all we can to keep each other safe,” Derrick Kunz, Communications Consultant with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, stated.
The Saskatchewan Safe Schools Plan consists of four phases of education delivery, which include:
• Level 1 – Full in-class learning with some additional measures to ensure student and staff safety.
• Level 2 – Full in-class learning – Mask usage for students and staff, as per the guidance provided to school divisions by Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer.
• Level 3 – Reduced in-class learning.
• Level 4 – Transition to alternative learning opportunities offered by divisions.
Following a number of positive COVID-19 cases within Martensville High School, there was a temporary switch to Level 4 for approximately two weeks, and as of November 23, the school was moving to Level 3, which will continue until at least the Christmas break.
For more information on the Saskatchewan Safe Schools Plan, visit www.saskatchewan.ca