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UPDATE: COVID case reported at Edwin Parr Composite

Second case at the Athabasca high school since September
Edwin Parr Composite ext
Aspen View Public Schools reported an active case of COVID-19 Edwin Parr Composite High in Athabasca Saturday. File

Updated to note the number of students and staff identified as close contacts, and when the individual was last in the school.

ATHABASCA - A case of COVID-19 has been reported at Edwin Parr Composite School in Athabasca.

A media release from Aspen View Public Schools Saturday, Nov. 14, said the division had been notified late in the day Friday, Nov. 13, that a positive case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed in an individual from Edwin Parr Composite School."

Further, anyone considered to have been in close contact with the individual was already contacted by Alberta Health Services with further directions, and told to stay home. It's the second positive case at the Athabasca high school since students returned to classes at the beginning of September after an extended hiatus that started in March.

Aspen View communications officer Ross Hunter clarified Monday morning, Nov. 15, that 49 students and seven staff members were identified as close contacts of the individual, who was last in the school Friday, Nov. 6. The self-isolation period will extend through the coming week.

The release said no more details will be released to protect the privacy of those involved, but Aspen View will continue to provide additional information to parents and guardians as it becomes available.

The school and the division have been operating under the protocols of AHS since the first day of school and will continue to do so, said Supt. Neil O'Shea.

A staggered start, dividing into cohorts, offering hand sanitizer and additional cleaning, along with a mandate to wear masks in public areas of the school are some of the stategies Aspen View has used to help slow the spread of the virus. 

“Aspen View and Edwin Parr Composite School administration is diligently following Alberta Health Services guidance to ensure the necessary steps are taken to protect the health and safety of students and staff,” said O'Shea.

A single case warrants an alert, but does not constitute any kind of status change in the school and no additional measures are required at this point. An outbreak is declared when there are two or more confirmed cases in a school setting within a 14-day period where disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school.

There are four active cases, as reported by the Alberta government, within the borders of Athabasca County at this time, with an update of weekend numbers coming early next week.

In Westlock, both R.F. Staples School and St. Mary School are still listed under outbreak status, which will be lifted after 28 days without new cases.

Aspen View reminds student sand parents and staff to be alert for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow the daily checklist before attending the school, and stay home and fill out the online Alberta Health Services COVID-19 self-assessment or call Health Link at 811.