‘High-risk exposure’ to COVID-19 at Amherstview Public School

The Limestone District School Board (LDSB) says that a “high-risk exposure to COVID-19” has occurred at Amherstview Public School.

According to provincial guidance, a high-risk exposure is defined as a ‘close, prolonged unprotected contact’, where prolonged may include a single episode or cumulative interactions, and where unprotected may include incomplete compliance of personal protective equipment (PPE) or type of PPE is inadequate.

The notification to the community, which was released on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, says that KFL&A Public Health has been notified the exposure, and that students and staff who may be at risk are self-isolating pending further direction from public health.

The notification does not disclose the exact nature of the exposure, nor how many students or staff were exposed as a result of the incident. As of Thursday evening, neither LDSB nor KFL&A Public Health’s dashboards had been updated to reflect any positive cases at the school.

“We recognize that receiving this information may be stressful,” says a letter from KFL&A Public Health, issued concurrently with LDSB’s announcement. “We want to ensure you understand the process going forward. KFL&A Public Health and the school are taking all necessary steps to prevent further spread of the virus both in the school and the community.”

KFL&A Public Health says it will provide direction to identified individuals and the school to protect students and staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as identify and contact all individuals (including students and staff) who may be affected.

The school will provide KFL&A Public Health with contact information for individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19, and is in the process of cleaning and disinfecting all areas in the school where the exposure may have occurred. The notification did not disclose whether cleaning and sanitizing will require the closure of the school.

The release asks members of the school community to continue to monitor and screen students daily for symptoms of COVID-19, as most cases of COVID-19 are acquired in the home setting.

If students do not have symptoms of COVID-19, it is not necessary to have them tested at this time. Testing now may lead to unnecessary or repeat testing.

If a student does show symptoms of COVID-19, parents and guardians are instructed to immediately isolate them from others and go to an assessment centre for testing.

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