Editor's Note: Updated to include most recent release from Aspen View Public Schools, regarding cases at Boyle School, as well as data from the Government of Alberta regarding the status of schools around the province.
ATHABASCA — Two individuals from Boyle School have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in 53 students and seven staff being identified as close contacts and directed to isolate at home.
Aspen View Public Schools reported the two new cases Monday evening via a media release, the second of the day after a single case was identified at Edwin Parr Composite School in Athabasca this morning — the third within the town since students returned to in-person classes Jan. 11. The two Boyle School cases are the first to appear at the Grade 1-12 school since the pandemic was declared in March.
The school division identified 53 close contacts in the latest cases, while the case reported at Edwin Parr School this morning resulted in 43 close contacts — 17 students, five staff and 21 others from both EPC and Landing Trail Intermediate School were also identified as having shared the same bus.
Aspen View reported its first positive case of 2021 at the Centre for Alternative & Virtual Education (CAVE) Jan. 17, and determined two students and one staff member as close contacts. On Jan. 23, another case was reported in an individual from Landing Trail Intermediate School where 13 students, one staff member and 25 others from LTIS and EPC were identified as close contacts through student transportation.
AVPS Supt. Neil O’Shea said the division and administration at all schools "are diligently following Alberta Health Services guidance to ensure the necessary steps are taken to protect the health and safety of students and staff.
Since returning to school Jan. 11, Alberta Health Services has identified active alerts or outbreaks in 268 schools across the province involving more than 500 cases.
Aspen View encourages parents, guardians and staff members to be aware of symptoms and monitor for them every day by completing the checklist from Alberta Health Services prior to attending school.
If any of those core symptoms are observed, it is advised the child be kept home, and to fill out the AHS COVID self-assessment form. If you are unsure of your symptoms you are encouraged to call the Health Link at 811.
AVPS communications officer Ross Hunter said details could not be shared publicly due to privacy concerns.
“We will continue to provide additional information to parents/guardians as it becomes available,” he said.