News Release: COVID-19 Outbreaks at Schools will be Publicly Announced by Health Unit

Posted on Tuesday September 08, 2020

NORTH BAY, ON – In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at a school or childcare centre, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) will share a news release publicly and update the outbreak list and COVID-19 cases page on its website.

As outlined by the province, in the Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools, “an outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).”

Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for 14 days, or until they receive a negative test result for COVID-19. In line with routine COVID-19 case management, within 24 hours of the Health Unit receiving notice of a positive test, close contacts – someone who was at risk of exposure – of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are contacted by the Health Unit.

As per the Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools, “parents, students and staff have an understandable interest in knowing when a COVID-19 positive case has been identified in their school. All school boards will be asked to create a COVID-19 advisory section on their website. Where schools have websites, they will also be asked to create a COVID-19 advisory section . . . Notice of any closures of classes, cohorts or schools will be posted on school and school board COVID-19 advisory sections.”

While we are experiencing very low levels of COVID-19, we need to continue to follow public health measures. Keeping the levels of COVID-19 low within our communities will significantly help to reduce the risk to students and educators, and make the return-to-school safer and successful for all. The public is encouraged to continue to practice public health measures, including physical distancing, wearing a face covering, washing or sanitizing hands often, and coughing or sneezing into your sleeve. Parents who have questions about schools can speak to a public health nurse by calling 1-800-563-2808.

As we work together, adapt when needed and continue to follow public health measures, we can support a safer return to school.

For more information on COVID-19 please visit www.myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19.

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Media Inquiries:

Stephanie Lachapelle, Community Health Promoter
P: 705-474-1400, ext. 5221 or 1-800-563-2808
E: communications@healthunit.ca

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808