Fraser Health is streamlining their notification process for COVID-19 school notices.
The Chilliwack School District notified families Monday morning that the changes will be effective immediately.
“The new process will streamline letters from three different early notification letters into one notification letter and continue to use a self-monitoring letter and self-isolation letter as needed,” said Rohan Arul-pragasam, interim superintendent. “The school bulletin will be discontinued.”
He added that the new process is a result of feedback from schools and families, and that the health authority worked with school districts in making the changes. It is hoped the new process will increase Fraser Health’s response time in issuing notifications, decrease the number of emails sent to staff and families, and increase the accuracy of the notifications.
This is how the new process will work:
• When a case has been identified and includes an individual who attended school during their infectious period, the school and district will be provided with a notification letter to distribute to the school community.
• If the case is linked to one or more classes, a self-monitoring letter will be issued to the affected classes.
• Additional self-monitoring letters and/or self-isolation letters will be issued as identified during the course of case and contact management.
• Instead of a school bulletin, the notification letter has been updated to alert parents and staff that case and contact management will be completed within 48 hours.
• School exposures will continue to be updated daily on Fraser Health’s school exposures page.
• In the event of case identification or a COVID-19 exposure at a school, parents and staff can expect one or more letters.
Those letters include:
• Notification letter, which is is a general letter to the entire school community that serves as a notification that someone within the school community has tested positive for COVID-19.
• Self-monitoring letter, which will be sent to classes or cohorts of the person who attended school while potentially infectious. The intent of the letter is to provide heightened awareness, beyond that of the daily health check, around monitoring for symptoms.
• Self-isolation letter, sent to individuals or groups who are identified through contact tracing as being at higher risk due to proximity to the case or the nature of the exposure. The letter advises those individuals to self-isolate, which means that they should remain isolated at home.
“It is key to note that COVID-19 cases at our schools are a direct reflection of community transmissions in Chilliwack,” Arul-pragasm said. “Therefore, it is important that we all follow public health advice on reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 in our community.”
He added that the safety and well-being of students, families, and staff remain the district’s highest priority.
“Please be reassured that our school district will continue to implement the strict health and safety protocols we have in place so that our children and staff can continue to attend school as safely as possible. Thank you for your continued support and diligence in keeping our community safe.”
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.