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Coronavirus update

Thu, 12 Mar, 2020

News item: Coronavirus update March 12

As students, families and staff make plans for spring break from March 23-27, it’s important to stay up to date with health and travel information about the COVID-19 coronavirus.

On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared that coronavirus outbreak is now a pandemic. At this time, Alberta’s risk level remains low and Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is not recommending school closures.

CHECK REGULARLY FOR NEW TRAVEL INFORMATION

Because this situation is changing quickly, families and staff are encouraged to frequently check for updates from official sources. This can include:

If you plan to travel outside of Canada, carefully review Alberta Health Services Info for Travellers—both before you leave and when you return from your trip to ensure you have the most current information.

HOW EDMONTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS IS RESPONDING

There’s nothing more important than the safety of our students, families and staff.

Edmonton Public Schools has a Contagious Disease Preparedness Planning Committee that is co-ordinating our response to support students, families, staff and schools.

Some of the actions we’re taking include:

  • increasing cleaning and sanitization at schools, especially in high-traffic areas
  • continued education and reinforcement of best health practices in our schools
  • asking schools to consider restricting volunteers and visitors coming into the schools
  • asking schools to limit large gatherings, limit bringing multiple classes together and create more physical space between students where possible.
  • closely monitoring attendance among staff and students
  • cancelling all international field trips until the end of April

Our Division continues to take guidance from Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

We all have a role to play in protecting the health of our students and staff. We encourage families and staff to make sure contact information is up to date so we can reach you quickly, if needed. Families who haven’t already done so can sign up for School Messenger, our Division’s urgent message system that can call and text you when there is a major incident at your child’s school.

To protect yourself and others, students, families and staff are encouraged to:

  • stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
  • use good hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing
  • cover coughs and sneezes into your elbow or a tissue, dispose of tissues immediately and wash your hands
  • avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • don’t share items such as drinking glasses and water bottles
  • contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions or concerns about your health

MORE INFORMATION

It is natural to be concerned, and Edmonton Public Schools is committed to sharing more information with families and staff as it becomes available. For all updates, visit our coronavirus information page.