Over the past couple of weeks our elementary school has had several COVID exposures in a number of different classrooms. Island Health defines these as times when someone with a positive diagnosis has had significant contact with one or more persons. Most commonly, these types of notice go out when a student or teacher in a class has been diagnosed as being positive and has been in the classroom while they are deemed to be contagious.
Island Health has not at this point described these exposures as a ‘cluster’. School clusters occur when there are multiple positive diagnoses and transmission has occurred at school.
In terms of process, we have forwarded notice letters to every impacted class as Island Health has contacted us. Additionally, Island Health has connected with families if students need to self-isolate or monitor for symptoms.
What happens if there are more exposures?
Island Health will continue to do contact tracing. If they were to verify that transmission is occurring off-site, likely we would continue to deal with exposures as we are now. If, however, it becomes apparent that transmission is occurring in school we also have the option of moving an individual class or the elementary or high schools to online learning for a period of time. A number of schools both in the public and Christian system have had to take one or both of these steps. This kind of decision would be made in consultation with the health authorities. Clearly, we want to avoid this possibility; however, the safety of our entire school community remains our highest priority.
All of this is a reminder that we need to continue to take seriously things like daily health checks, masking and the other protocols which have been put in place to allow our school to continue to operate in a safe manner.
In the midst of the uncertainties of the moment, I find it helpful to remind myself that our God has a plan and that He has known from the beginning of time how all of this will turn out and that it is good.
The plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11