Starting this Fall, AHS is declaring an outbreak at schools when 10 per cent of the school population is absent. This has been the case at Bonnyville Centralized High School since September 10, with the period of outbreak lasting for 14 days.
Communications Officer with Northern Lights Public Schools, Nicole Garner says BCHS has about 300 students so the 10 per cent equates to at least 30 children. She noted that cleaning and sanitization measures have kicked in and they have alerted the school community.
“We informed everyone at the school that we were in outbreak status. We also posted on our website and then we did some extra cleaning over the whole school. So that would be in addition to the daily cleaning that the school gets every evening and the work that our day cleaners are doing throughout the day to disinfect high touch surfaces.”
Garner explains that AHS is not reporting COVID cases to them as they did last school year and that they only learn about positive cases if a parent informs the school. She explains that the composition of the 10 per cent threshold is not entirely COVID related illnesses.
“We don’t have a way of knowing, other than the information volunteered to us, when we reach that 10 per cent threshold, how much of that 10 per cent may be due to COVID or how much is another virus. Or how much is respiratory and not respiratory.”
Details on the new AHS Guidance for respiratory illness prevention and management in schools are available online.