Dear St. Paul Parents,
We are halfway through the school year, and I felt it was a good time to refresh everyone’s knowledge on what would happen if there was to be a COVID-19 exposure in our school. In talking with fellow principals, the “first” exposure letter in a school always causes a certain degree of panic, a multitude of questions, and the unfortunate spread of misinformation. My intent is to front-load families with the necessary information, so that if/when our school experiences its first exposure, we are informed and know what to expect.
An exposure occurs when a student, staff member, or visitor to the school is confirmed though Vancouver Coastal Health with a positive case of COVID-19, and was deemed infectious during the time that he/she was present in the school building.
If this is the case, VCH then communicates with all necessary contacts directly. Contact tracing is typically complete within 24 hours, and communication is made by VCH to those who are considered to be close contacts. Contacts are asked to either self-isolate (stay home for two weeks) or self-monitor (carry on as normal, but monitor for symptoms).
If you are not contacted by VCH, it’s because VCH has determined your risk to be very low, and you do not need to be concerned. You can continue with your regular daily activities, and students can come to school as normal.
As required by law to protect the personal privacy rights of individuals, the names and/or any identifying information about cases or contacts will not be shared with the community.
I want to assure you that the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and families remains our highest priority. As always, St. Paul School will continue to implement the strict health and safety protocols and procedures we currently have in place. The CISVA works very closely with, and follows the guidance and direction of, Vancouver Coastal Health.
Please remember that as the school year continues, it is normal for students and staff to be away from school from time to time due to self-monitoring, illness, or family circumstances. I kindly ask for your support in not speculating or commenting on such absences and refrain from spreading any rumours, as these actions are not aligned with our school community values.
Our community has been amazing at working together to ensure everyone’s safety. Let’s continue to do so as a faith community by:
- Being calm, kind, and empathetic with all members of our community. As the adults in our community, we model behaviours for our children, and it is important that we set a positive example;
- Completing the daily health check at home every morning, and keeping your child home if he/she is exhibiting symptoms;
- Following all public health guidelines;
- Reminding your children of the protocols we should be following;
- Joining us in prayer for the health and safety of our school community.
Below is an informative link from Vancouver Coastal Health that will help to answer any further questions you may have regarding COVID-19 and schools.
As I have expressed many times, I am eternally grateful for this supportive, responsive, and compliant community. Let us continue to do our part as we move forward in this academic year, and may we keep all those in our community and elsewhere in our prayers.
Yours in faith,