October 7, 2020
To our Ponoka Secondary Campus families,
Alberta Health Services is working closely with Wolf Creek Public Schools and Ponoka Secondary Campus to support and manage the safety of our schools. As you are aware, today we received notice there is now an ‘outbreak’ declared at Ponoka Secondary Campus. You should have received that letter from Alberta Health Services this afternoon. If you did not, please see it attached here.
To date, AHS has notified the Division and the school that there are two COVID-19 cases in relation to the school. These are the same two cases we notified you about, the first on Sunday, October 4, 2020, and the second today Wednesday, October 7, 2020. AHS has now determined these two cases meet their definition of the term ‘outbreak’.
Alberta Health Services has advised these cases are NOT the result of in-school transmission.
At this time, based on advice from AHS, Ponoka Secondary Campus will remain open, and in-school classes will continue.
The Alberta Government defines an outbreak as: If there are TWO OR MORE confirmed cases in your school setting (staff/child) within a 14-day period (one incubation period) OR two or more confirmed cases (staff/child) that are epidemiologically linked.
Parents/guardians of students who AHS deem to be close contacts, and are required to self isolate, will receive a call from Alberta Health Services shortly (24 to 48 hours) with additional information. Ponoka Secondary staff have already reached out to these families. Students isolated will continue to be supported by their regular teachers in their learning.
As we continue our focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19, our custodial services team has conducted enhanced cleaning protocols. Additional cleaning was completed and focused on areas where the individual was present, along with high-touch areas and surfaces throughout the school.
Out of respect to these individuals and in accordance with Alberta Health Services guidelines, we cannot disclose personal details of the individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19.
We remind families to monitor for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 using the Alberta Health Screening Questionnaire. Please remember to complete the checklist each day prior to attending school. If you or a member of your family has any of the symptoms of illness listed, please fill out the online Alberta Health Services COVID-19 self-assessment or call Health Link at 811.
Please also reference three additional documents that might help provide you additional information. These documents include a quick reference guide regarding COVID-19 cases in schools and what determines an outbreak. I have also included our reference guide when to keep your child home when they have symptoms, and the link to the daily self-health screening questionnaire
The health and safety of our staff, students and community is paramount. We know this news can be distressing for families and supports are available. Please be assured we will continue to work closely with Alberta Health Services to ensure we follow their ongoing recommendations. Thank you for your continued support.
Kathy McTaggart, Ponoka Secondary Campus, Principal
Jayson Lovell, Wolf Creek Public Schools, Superintendent