What to expect when there’s a positive COVID-19 case
Dear students, parents and staff,
As you may have heard, in New Westminster we have now had our first few confirmed COVID-19 exposures and wanted to connect with all of you and let you know what to expect for future cases.
First and foremost: we are acting under the guidance of both the Ministries of Health and Education. But as it pertains to identifying positive cases and the contact tracing process, the Fraser Health Authority takes the lead in our region.
When a member of our school community tests positive for COVID-19:
- Fraser Health is notified of all positive COVID-19 cases in our region. They will interview the individual and/or others they may determine need to be consulted.
- If they determine that someone was in a contagious period while inside one of our schools, they will notify the School District.
- Both the school and School District will provide Fraser Health with any information and assistance they need to complete contact tracing, such as providing contact information or supporting communication with families and staff.
- The school will send – on behalf of the school, District and Fraser Health – a joint “Early notification letter” to all staff and families, to make them aware of the possible dates of exposure. A notification does not mean your child has had a confirmed exposure to COVID-19 – the letter informs you that an investigation is occurring.
- The school will follow up the emailed early notification letter with a recorded phone message to all families: serving as a notification for families who don’t have regular access to email or as a prompt to ask families to look for the email.
- If Fraser Health determines there is any risk to members of our school community:
- Fraser Health will follow up directly with families and staff if they have determined anyone needs to either self-monitor or self-isolate.
- Fraser Health will determine if any additional measures are required.
- Only Fraser Health can determine who is a close contact and who needs to self-isolate. In general, school-based measures to protect against onsite transmission have been implemented successfully. Fraser Health is likely to contact only a small number individuals in the school.
If families or staff at the identified school are not contacted by Fraser Health, it has been determined that you are not at higher risk. The key thing to remember: Fraser Health will contact you directly if it’s been determined that you’ve been exposed. Please follow their advice carefully.
As a reminder, Daily Health Checks must be completed every morning, for each student attending school (or any adult entering a building). If new key symptoms of illness develop, you must follow the directions on the form. And regardless of what the symptoms are, stay home when you’re sick.
If you have additional health questions, we encourage you to call 8-1-1.
Have more questions around what happens when there’s a person who has tested positive for COVID-19? Like what the timelines are? Or around other school and safety questions? Please read our helpful new FAQ page for more answers to what we’re hearing asked: https://newwestschools.ca/the-faqs-for-phase-2/
Thank you all for your cooperation and kindness as we navigate this together,
Superintendent of Schools / CEO