There are at least 198 schools in the province dealing with outbreaks and absenteeism of 10 per cent or greater according to information compliled by a non-profit parents group.
Support Our Students collects the data from households that have received notification letters from Alberta Health Services (AHS) and is not affiliated with public health.
An outbreak is declared after an AHS investigation into a school is experiencing 10 per cent or greater rate of absenteeism, a change from the previous threshold of two or more cases.
Close contacts no longer need to quarantine and AHS Public Health is no longer notifying close contacts. Household contacts of positive cases are strongly recommended to stay home for two weeks if they are not fully vaccinated.
A parent in Edmonton wrote an open letter to the province as her son became one of 69 out of 350 students at their school to test positive for the virus.
Alison Turner is calling for the province to resume notifying close contacts to slow the spread.
The Canadian Paediatric Society also sent an open letter calling for mandatory reporting and contact tracing in schools, vaccine mandates for all adults working in schools and childcare settings, and masking for everyone age two and up.
Children are particularly vulnerable as Health Canada has not yet approved vaccines for children 11 and younger.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw has maintained that Alberta’s schools are not a significant driver of spread and children are less likely to suffer severe outcomes.
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