There were COVID-19 exposure events at Maple Ridge secondary school on Dec. 1 and 2.
A person with a confirmed case of the virus was at the school on those dates. Fraser Health has reported the dates as Nov. 29 and 30 on its web page, but those dates are incorrect, according to School District 42.
Exposure events have fallen off in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows schools recently, with MRSS the only school listed on the Fraser Health reporting page. There has been as many as six listed at once in November.
Fraser Health has initiated contact tracing to identify individuals who need to self-isolate or self-monitor for symptoms. Those households that do not receive a phone call or letter should continue having students attend school. Those students and staff who show symptoms must stay home.
Fraser Health has gone to a new reporting system for these events, and now sends letters to the entire school community, and a different letter to families of students who were in the same class as the person with the virus. The “Early Notification – Exposed” letter says:
“If you are reading this letter, your child may have been in the same class as the person with COVID-19” in bold letters. “The person involved has been isolated. Because of this, there is no chance of direct exposure at this time.”
It again says public health will only contact those who have been directly exposed to COVID-19.
Fraser Health said the changes are a response to feedback from schools and parents.
“With the support of school districts and schools, we have streamlined our assessment and notification process to help reduce anxiety for the school community, and provide timely and clear actions to impacted individuals.
“Until now, staff and parents at a school with a COVID-19 exposure received a general early notification letter asking them to monitor for symptoms. Fraser Health Public Health would then follow up to provide impacted cohorts and individuals with further instruction as needed.
School administrators will now distribute three types of letters to their school community that include a preliminary assessment of the individual’s exposure based on administrative and cohort (class) schedules. These letters provide targeted information to recipients on what actions they should follow.
There will be three letters:
1. Early notification letter – exposed: This letter will be shared with individuals, cohorts and class(es) who have been assessed to have potentially been exposed a person with COVID-19. The letter will provide them with instructions to continue to come to school and to monitor for symptoms daily.
2. Early notification letter – not exposed: This letter will be provided to individuals, cohorts and class(es) not exposed at the school. These individuals may have been at the school during this time; however, the exposure did not take place in their cohort or class(es).
3. Early notification letter – general: This letter will be shared with individuals who are not part of a specific class or cohort, such as a school counsellor, who may or may not have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 and provide them with instructions.
These letters will be shared while contact tracing by Fraser Health is underway with the COVID-19 positive individual and their close contacts.
The school district also asks students and staff to do a daily health assessment, which can be found on the district’s website at www.sd42.ca