Edmonton schools to pick up contact-tracing slack as AHS faces backlog

Dec 1 2020, 11:43 pm

Edmonton’s public school board is asking families to contact their child’s school if they receive a positive COVID-19 test as the district prepares to pick up some of the contact-tracing slack.

With a mounting backlog of cases, Alberta Health Services has said they will be focusing contact-tracing efforts on the most recent positive tests to halt spread, meaning some people who test positive may not receive a call from a contact tracer.

In Edmonton, schools themselves will begin identifying close contacts and asking them to self-isolate when families disclose a diagnosis to the school.

“When a school learns an individual has tested positive, out of an abundance of caution, schools share recommended quarantine dates with those who are potential close contacts,” the district said in a news release Tuesday.

It added that between October 30 and November 30, schools were made aware of 273 COVID-19 cases not confirmed by AHS. Schools went ahead and asked more than 5,000 students and nearly 600 staff who were close contacts of those cases to self-isolate “out of an abundance of caution.”

Edmonton Public Schools usually updates news media every day about confirmed COVID-19 cases. Going forward, their update will include all the infections brought to their attention and not just those confirmed by AHS.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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