Two more cases of confirmed COVID-19 have hit Prince Rupert with the latest victim part of the School District 52 Roosevelt Elementary School.
A letter addressed to the Roosevelt Elementary families signed by school Principal Andrée Michaud and Vice-principal Cindy Stevenson was sent home on Oct. 29.
“We have been made aware from a member of our school community that they have tested positive for COVID-19,” the letter states.
“We are working with members of our school community to determine if there is any risk to other members of our school community or if any additional steps are required. We will follow the health authority’s guidance,” the letter said. “The local health authority will connect with any individuals who may have been exposed with further instructions.”
Parents took to social media soon after receiving the letter expressing concern that it was not stipulated whether a child or staff member was affected by the virus.
Sandy Pond, School District 52 director of education told The Northern View that no information would be given to the media as part of COVID-19 protocol and redirected all inquiries to Northern Health Authority.
“This is their show. It is their protocols that we are following,” Pond said. “Anything COVID related is theirs and not ours to report or comment on at this point.”
When asked about the letter not specifying if the affected person was a student or teacher, Pond said that level of information will “never” be disclosed to protect the confidentiality of the individual.
Pond said the school district is prepared for COVID-19 and has procedures in place.
“We have plans in place, absolutely. The plans are in our exposure control plan on our website,” she said.
The Northern Health website public exposures and outbreaks page explains the COVID-19 school notification process.
“If a student or teacher receives a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, Public Health follows a rigorous protocol:
“Contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with.
“We identify and notify close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advise them to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
“Only Public Health can determine who is a close contact. Learning groups, friends or other connections may not be determined to be a close contact.
“Public Health staff works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community,” NH webpage said.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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