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SW Public Health Will Contact Parents and Guardians in the Event of a Positive Case at School

SW Public Health will contact parents and guardians if a child, teacher or other staff member tests positive for COVID-19 at your child's school.

OXFORD/ELGIN/ST.THOMAS - Southwestern Public wants parents and guardians with school aged children in Elgin and Oxford Counties to know that if COVID-19 is confirmed positive within a student or a staff member, public health will let them know.

Whenever the health unit receives confirmation of a positive test they start an investigation. The first call goes to the positive case. Subsequent calls go to the close contacts of the positive case. In the case of a student or staff member at a local school, those close contacts include classmates and support staff working in the same space.

Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Joyce Lock says they want to be as transparent as possible. 

“Our goal is to communicate quickly and accurately so you won't have to rely on the rumour mill or a social media post. After we have contacted the individual case and their close contacts, the broader school community will receive an email from the school principal so that everyone is informed by a trusted source.” 

To protect the privacy of the individual with COVID-19, the individual will not be identified by name, gender or age or whether they are a teacher or a student.

Dr Lock says that anyone who tests positive will be monitored and supported throughout their illness and advised when it is safe to return to school.

“Our local school boards have done an enormous amount of work to minimize the risk of infection and to put processes in place should a child or teacher become ill. The first step in this process starts with parents and guardians monitoring the health of their
children before they leave their home each morning. If you notice a symptom of COVID-19 in your child, keep them home and call your family health care provider or book an appointment at your local assessment centre.”

Parents and guardians are reminded that if their sick child does not have a COVID-19 test to confirm the source of their symptoms, the child will need to stay home for 14 days and until the child is 24 hours symptom free.

Southwestern Public Health has an entire page dedicated to resources for educators and learners heading back to the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic which you can access online here. 

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