It is our commitment as a community to partner together to ensure the safest possible environment. It is possible that a member of the community will acquire or be involved in the transmission of COVID-19 and consequently, we have developed a plan for these instances. To minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission, there will be a low threshold for identification of symptoms before the school contacts home.
In the event that a student develops or exhibits symptoms related to COVID-19 while at school or involved in school activities, the student will be immediately directed to the school nurse. They will be asked to wear a non-medical mask (if they are able to) and will be isolated 2 metres away from others. Steps will be followed according to the Positive COVID-19 Case in the School Community guidelines provided by the Ministry’s COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings.
Parents/guardians will be notified and requested to come to pick up their child. It is expected that parents/guardians will come to the school to pick up the student immediately. We encourage families to have a plan for pick up in the event that their child is ill and parents/guardians may have complications with work preventing an immediate pick-up.
It is the school’s right to request that the family provides evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or of being cleared by a medical practitioner and being symptom-free prior to returning to school.
Students and staff should stay at home if they develop common-cold, influenza or COVID-19 symptoms. The key symptoms to watch for are fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If the staff or student (or their parent) indicates that the symptoms are consistent with a previously diagnosed health condition and are not unusual for that individual, they may return to school. No assessment or note is required from a health care provider. For mild symptoms without fever, students and staff can monitor at home for 24 hours. If symptoms improve, they can return to school without further assessment. If symptoms include fever, or if after 24 hours, symptoms remain unchanged or worsen, seek a health assessment. A health assessment can include calling 8-1-1, checking with a primary care provider like a physician or nurse practitioner, or going to a COVID-19 testing centre.
Stay Home When Required To Self-isolate:
The following students, staff or adults must stay home and self-isolate:
- A person confirmed by the health authority a testing positive for COVID-19; or
- A person confirmed by the health authority as a close contact of a confirmed case or outbreak of COVID-19; or
- A person who has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days; or
- A person who has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting the test result.
It is recommended that people with symptoms or otherwise identified by a health professional should be tested for COVID-19. This includes children.
Testing can also result in false positive and false negatives for the following groups:
- Asymptomatic people
- Those who are very early on in the illness
- Those who may be incubating the disease
When a COVID-19 test is recommended by the health assessment, if the test is positive, the person should continue to stay home until they are told by public health to end their self-isolation. In most cases, this is 10 days after the onset of symptoms. Public health will contact everyone with a positive test. If the COVID-19 test is negative, the person can return to school once symptoms have improved and they feel well enough. Symptoms of common respiratory illnesses can persist for a week or more. Re-testing is not needed unless the person develops a new illness. BCCDC has information on receiving negative test results. If a COVID-19 test is recommended but is not done because the person or parent chooses not to have the test or a health assessment is not sought when recommended, and the person’s symptoms are not related to a previously diagnosed health condition, they should stay home from school until 10 days after the onset of symptoms, and then they may return if feeling well enough.
Students or staff may still attend school if a member of their household or bubble has cold, influenza, or COVID- 19-like symptoms, provided the student/staff member is not sick. It is expected that the symptomatic household member is seeking assessment by a health-care provider.
Quarantine is a term typically reserved for persons who return from travel outside the country and are at risk of developing COVID-19. As of March 25, 2020, all persons arriving in Canada must self-isolate (quarantine) and monitor for symptoms for 14 days under the Quarantine Act
. Unless you are exempt, all international travellers returning to BC are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days and complete a self-isolation plan
. It is critical that all staff/parents/caregivers inform the school of any travel outside Canada. If a parent/caregiver has travelled outside Canada and is able to self-isolate within their home away from other family members, then the child may attend school. This same requirement is applicable to staff whose children attend GNS. If a parent/caregiver or anyone in your household has travelled outside Canada and cannot self-isolate away from other family members, the child cannot attend school until the quarantine period is over.