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News: Friday, November 6th, 2020

Understanding COVID-19 Exposures in Abbotsford Schools

Since September 8th, our students and staff have returned to our 46 schools and district sites under enhanced health, safety, teaching and learning protocols implemented through our Restart Plan.

Over the last few weeks, some of our schools have received a COVID-19 exposure notice, and we wanted to take some time to explain what this means and how it is communicated.

If a school community member were to test positive for COVID-19, Fraser Health would initiate their contract tracing process to determine if additional individuals may have been exposed and possibly provide them direction on whether to isolate or seek testing.

In incidents where this individual was at school during their infectious period, an early exposure notification will be issued. Receiving a COVID-19 exposure notification letter does not mean you have been directly exposed to COVID-19. Rather, the notification is provided to ensure transparent communication with students, families, and staff and to build confidence in the public health contact tracing process.

COVID-19 Exposure Notification letters will identify the school, exposure dates and outline the next steps or actions to take, if any. Individual students, families or classrooms will not be identified to protect personal privacy. Rest assured that health authorities will contact you if you are considered to be a close contact. If health authority does not contact you, this means that they have determined that the case does not pose a risk for your child developing COVID-19, and that it is safe to continue to attend school.

We want to remind you that health and safety begin at home and requires a collective effort. Following the BCCDC’s COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings, all parents, guardians, and/or caregivers are responsible for conducting a daily health assessment of their child every day before sending them to school. Please take the time to assess your child for key symptoms of illness every morning. Some of the symptoms to look for include: Fever, Chills, Cough, Shortness of Breath, Loss of sense, smell or taste.

If your child is experiencing any symptoms, they should stay home for 24 hours from the time the symptom(s) appeared. If the symptoms improve, they may return to school when they feel well enough. If the symptoms persist or worsen, seek a health assessment by calling 8-1-1.

Our school district continues to follow the guidance provided by public health officials as detailed in our district’s health and safety guidelines. General cleaning and disinfecting of schools continues to occur at least once every 24 hours. Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces continues to occur at least twice every 24 hours. And moving forward, we will continue to work with public health officials to determine if any other actions are necessary after a COVID-19 exposure event.

Thank you for helping keep your family and our school community safer.

Dr. Kevin Godden
Superintendent of Schools