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COVID-19 UPDATE – FEBRUARY 17, 2021

By February 17, 2021 No Comments

Dear parents,

Many parents are asking whether it is ok to keep kids home as more students may test positive? Yes, again family safety is of primary importance to all of us! Unfortunately, as we must wait for VCH to notify us when there is an exposure event, as all information is CONFIDENTIAL, it is not in our authority to say who should take precautions by staying home. As of today, only people with symptoms or living with a positive or infected individual is recommended to isolate. All others who are not in direct contact or are deemed a low risk (as they wear masks or were not directly interacting during the infectious period) and are only to monitor for symptoms and to go for testing if a symptom arises. However, we follow the recommendations of public health to maintain and stop the spread of COVID-19. Cases are continuing around BC, Canada and the world and especially in our surrounding community, we MUST continue to do all we can to stay safe.

Many of our families are very concerned about their specific conditions or have seniors or children with compromised immune symptoms at home. All we can do at this point is to continue to be careful, monitor for symptoms, follow all recommendations of washing our hands, masking, keeping our distances, stop social gatherings, and continue to monitor our children for illness. Please seek testing if you feel your child may be at risk or if they show any signs of illness. VCH will advise you in your particular situation. If you are unsure and you have received the VCH exposure letter, follow their guidelines and take all necessary precautions and call 811 for advice.  We will continue to follow all safety protocols at school. All staff self- assess daily and DO NOT COME TO SCHOOL with any type of illness symptoms (cold, flu or allergies). We continue to take every precaution to keep exposures minimized.

Please see the below or the link of new symptoms, as now any cold or allergy symptom may also be a symptom of COVID-19.  However, they do not recommend you test asymptomatically as you may receive a false negative. Siblings may stay home for a few days if they are concerned prior to testing.

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/covid-19/testing

The BCCDC COVID-19 testing guidelines have been updated to reflect new evidence about COVID-19 symptoms. Some symptoms, like fever or chills, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, and trouble breathing are more likely to be COVID-19.

If you don’t know if you have had contact with someone who has COVID-19, and have new or worsening symptoms, you need to be tested.

If you have 1 or more of these key symptoms, seek testing as soon as possible:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Difficulty breathing

If you have 2 or more of the symptoms below for more than 24 hours, and they are not related to any other pre-existing conditions, seek testing.

These symptoms are:

  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

A COVID-19 test is also recommended if you are a contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and you have even one of the following COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*A person with mild symptom(s) may elect to seek COVID-19 testing, even when it is not required. 

**Children have similar symptoms to adults, but the symptoms are milder. If you are unsure, please call 811 or keep children home until all symptoms clear.

Again, parents always have the right to keep children home if they feel they need to for personal reasons, or to minimize their own child or family risks. Please email the school office and their teacher will send home missed assignments or give time for those children to catch up upon their return. The exposures so far at school has happened in preschool and in kindergarten (Exposure Letter – Kindergarten) and both classes will only be on-line until March. We have attached an exposure letter for Grade 7 (Exposure Letter – Gr. 7) as some of you may have siblings in that grade as well. If your child or family or staff was in direct contact, they have been notified by VCH and parents would have been told to get tested or follow the recommendations of the exposure notification. 

Please continue to follow all Public Health Guidelines. Wash Hands, stay distant, and wear masks whenever you are outside your family bubble. Please avoid congregating with family and friends, especially playdates, birthdays or mixing families or community gatherings. COVID-19 variants are becoming more contagious, and the more safeguards we follow, the better to stop pre-symptomatic spread. We always recommend staying home if there are any signs of illness. 

 Again, we are dealing with these exposure events as quickly as possible, we are informing you parents so you can also make the best decisions for the safety of your own families and we continue to follow the direction of VCH. Please feel free to email the school or your classroom teacher if you are unsure, or if you have any other questions.

Let us pray these exposure events ends quickly, and safely and that all our families will stay healthy until we finish the year.

May God Bless us all and keep us safe!

Sincerely, 

Pasquale Balletta 
Principal