Alberta changes naming system for school COVID-19 outbreaks

Jan 15 2021, 12:21 am

Alberta is changing the terminology for how it classifies severity of COVID-19 outbreaks in schools.

Right now it issues an alert when one case is discovered in a school, and declares an outbreak when there’s two or more cases. Schools with outbreaks of five people or more are added to the “watch” list, and an “enhanced” designation is reserved for a severe outbreak, where the school’s day-to-day operations must be changed.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw has received feedback from families that the current system is confusing, she said at a news briefing Thursday.

So the province will move to a numbered system to rank severity starting on Monday, January 18.

She added that there are currently 15 COVID-19 cases tied to schools in the entire province.

Alberta officials also announced they will be loosening some public health restrictions on Monday. Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed again, and personal care services such as salons will be allowed to reopen.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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