COVID-19 outbreaks declared at two more Calgary schools
CALGARY -- Alberta Health Services confirms outbreaks of COVID-19 at a southeast elementary school and a northeast high school.
AHS issued notices to parents and guardians of students at Auburn Bay School (7 Auburn Bay Ave. S.E.) and Lester B. Pearson High School (3020 52nd St. N.E.) Sunday after "two or more cases of COVID-19" were confirmed at each of the schools.
"Public Health staff are investigating to determine who may have been exposed at your school to cases of COVID-19during their infectious period," said the letters dated Sept. 13, 2020. "The virus is passed from person to person by large, respiratory droplets, like from a cough or sneeze. This means that a person would need to have direct contact with droplets from a sick person or surfaces that they have recently touched. The risk of the general population in the school becoming infected because of these cases is low."
Health officials will contact students and staff at the two schools who have been identified as being in close contact with any of the confirmed cases.
"AHS has confirmed 42 cases that were present in 35 schools while infectious," said Dr. Deena Hinshaw during Monday's update.
Alberta's chief medical officer of health says none of the cases identified in schools so far were likely contracted while in the school. But that will change, said Hinshaw.
"Even with a cautious approach, it's likely that as the school year continues, we will see some cases of transmission in schools."
Anyone with ties to either school who develops COVID-19 symptoms is encouraged to self-isolate at home and either complete the AHS COVID-19 online assessment tool or contact Health Link at 811 to arrange testing.
The schools are not the first in Calgary to host outbreaks of the disease tied to the novel coronavirus. Last week, outbreaks were declared at Henry Wise Wood High School in the southwest and St. Wilfrid School in the southeast.
With cases of COVID-19 climbing in schools, the Alberta Teachers' Association says more staff needs to be hired to try and bring down class sizes for better physical distancing.
"Right now we have a lot of teachers that are feeling anxious and a little bit vulnerable," said Jonathan Teghtmeyer, with the ATA.
"We really have to get a handle on the community spread in this province if we want schools to stay open, because as long as the number of community cases remains high, we will continue to see those cases arriveing at the front stopes of schools."
For additional information regarding COVID-19 outbreaks in school visit the province's COVID-19 school status map.
With files from CTV Calgary's Jordan Kanygin.