Important Health and Safety Update

posted Sep 17, 2020, 4:31 PM by Leah Ashford   [ updated Sep 17, 2020, 4:33 PM ]

Dear Families, 


Please review the updated health and safety updates outlined in the COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings document.  The updated document is also attached. 

Physical Distancing  

Physical distancing refers to a range of measures aimed at reducing close contact with others. Physical distancing is used as a prevention measure because COVID-19 tends to spread through prolonged, close (face-to-face) contact.  

  • Within cohorts, physical distancing should include avoiding physical contact, minimizing close, prolonged, face- to-face interactions, and spreading out as much as possible within the space available.  

  • Outside of cohorts, practicing physical distancing should include avoiding physical contact and close, prolonged face-to-face interactions, spreading out as much as possible within the space available, and ensuring there is 1-2 meters of space available between people.  

  • Spaces where members of different cohorts interact should be sufficiently large, and/or should have limits on the number of people so that 1-2 meters of space is available between people  


Stay Home When New Symptoms of Illness Develop  

Students and staff should stay at home when new symptoms of illness develop. The key symptoms to watch for are fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  

  • If the staff or student (or their parent) indicates that the symptoms are consistent with a previously diagnosed health condition and are not unusual for that individual, they may return to school. No assessment or note is required from a health care provider.  

  • For mild symptoms without fever, students and staff can monitor at home for 24 hours. If symptoms improve, they can return to school without further assessment.  

  • If symptoms include fever, or if after 24 hours, symptoms remain unchanged or worsen, seek a health assessment. A health assessment can include calling 8-1-1, a primary care provider like a physician or nurse practitioner or going to a COVID-19 testing centre.  

  • When a COVID-19 test is recommended by the health assessment:  

  • If the COVID-19 test is positive, the person should stay home until they are told by public health to end their self-isolation. In most cases this is 10 days after the onset of symptoms. Public health will contact everyone with a positive test.  

  • If the COVID-19 test is negative, the person can return to school once symptoms have improved and they feel well enough. Symptoms of common respiratory illnesses can persist for a week or more. Re-testing is not needed unless the person develops a new illness. BCCDC has information on receiving negative test results.  

  • If a COVID-19 test is recommended but is not done because the person or parent chooses not to have the test or a health assessment is not sought when recommended, and the person’s symptoms are not related to a previously diagnosed health condition, they should stay home from school until 10 days after the onset of symptoms, and then may return if feeling well enough.  

  • If a COVID-19 test is not recommended by the health assessment, the person can return to school when symptoms have improved, and they feel well enough. Testing may not be recommended if the assessment determines that the symptoms are due to another cause (i.e. not COVID-19).  

Leah Ashford,
Sep 17, 2020, 4:33 PM