Island Health has cautioned the public of a new COVID-19 school exposure on Vancouver Island.
The health authority is reporting Thursday that there was a coronavirus exposure at Wood Elementary School in Port Alberni on Monday, October 19.
Island Health has initiated contact tracing to identify any staff and students that need to self-isolate or self-monitor for symptoms.
On the Island Health ‘Exposures In Schools’ page, officials say, “if your child’s school has been notified of an exposure, no action is required unless you are contacted by Public Health or are otherwise directed by school officials.”
“A notification posted above does not necessarily mean your child has been exposed to COVID-19,” Island Health says.
A letter issued to parents and guardians on Wednesday states “health and school officials already have been working together to identify those in contact with the test-positive individual.”
According to the letter, a member of our school community has tested positive for COVID-19.
The letter notes that anyone who does not receive a phone call or letter from officials is to continue to attend school and monitor for symptoms compatible with COVID-19 as per school policies.
Island Health says if it receives a positive COVID-19 test result, a rigorous protocol is followed:
- 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.
- If COVID-19 is identified in a student or staff and it is determined they were not at school when they were infectious, no public notification will be provided because there is no exposure to report.
- Only Public Health Nurses and Medical Health Officers determine who is a close contact. Learning groups, friends or other connections may not be determined to be a close contact.
- Public Health staff work closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community.
Wood Elementary School will remain on Island Health’s ‘Exposure in Schools’ page for the next 14 days.
No further information will be provided to the public in regards to the case of COVID-19 for privacy reasons, according to Island Health.