Community » Covid-19 Advisory - Management of First Cases

Covid-19 Advisory - Management of First Cases

(February 12, 2021)  Notice to all Families of Blind River Public School from ADSB - Return to School
Thank you, once again, for your partnership, understanding and cooperation during the past weeks, as we have continued to manage the school closure and the move to remote learning. Following a meeting and update with Algoma Public Health, we are pleased to advise that by Thursday of next week (February 18th), all students and staff will be cleared to return to school, presuming, of course, no additional cases are identified. Given this good news, please note the following information as we now move to re-open the school to in-person learning:
Effective Wednesday, February 17th: students and staff in the following grades can return to in-person learning:
• Gr. 1
• Gr. 3/4
• Gr. 5/6
• Gr. 6/7
• Gr. 7/8
• Learning Support Program
Effective Thursday, February 18th : In addition to the classes listed above, students in the Gr. 2/3 class can also return to in-person learning.

We want to thank the students, families and staff of Blind River P.S. students, as your understanding and cooperation allowed us to transition to remote learning seamlessly. We recognize and respect that every family will need to make the decision of whether to return to in-person learning or to continue with remote learning, based on their family’s unique circumstances. We do ask, however, that families commit to one mode of learning and remain in that mode for as long as possible (understanding, of course, that any student who is symptomatic is to remain home and access learning remotely), to facilitate planning. If you are opting for remote learning, please advise your child’s teacher of your decision to do so.
We continue to wish everyone in the Blind River community a safe and quick recovery.

Stay safe. Stay well. Enjoy your Family Day!
Subject: Individual has tested positive for COVID-19 at Blind River Public School
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Algoma Public Health (APH) is advising you that an individual associated with Blind River Public School has tested positive for COVID-19. We recognize that receiving this information may be stressful. To help you understand what actions are being taken, and what to expect, please review the important information below.
At this time, APH is conducting a careful investigation to identify high risk contacts. If you are receiving this letter your child has been identified as a high risk contact. Examples of high risk contacts include household members, people who have been in direct physical contact, and people who have spent more than 15 minutes together within 2 metres or 6 feet of each other, such as while sharing a meal or being in the same carpool. Brief interactions, like walking past so
meone in a hallway or on the sidewalk, are not generally considered high risk contact situations.
Next steps, such as getting COVID-19 testing and self-isolating at home are as follows:
Grade 3/4 class
1. The child must isolate until February 16, 2021 at midnight. Try to limit interaction with this child in the household as much as possible.
2. APH recommends the household stay home as much as possible under the provincial stay at home order and only attend work if you are an essential worker.
3. If your child is symptomatic seek testing immediately.
4. If your child has already been tested we recommend repeat testing February 12, 2021 or before the end of isolation.
5. If your child has not been tested we recommend testing on February 9, 2021 or before the end of isolation.
Grade 5/6 class
1. The child must isolate until February 16, 2021 at midnight. Try to limit interaction with this child in the household as much as possible.
2. APH recommends the household stay home as much as possible under the provincial stay at home order and only attend work if you are an essential worker.
3. If your child is symptomatic seek testing immediately.
4. Alternatively all high risk contacts are recommended to seek testing between February 9-12, 2021 or before the end of isolation.

We are working with the school to review and confirm important practices to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, including:
• Screening children and staff
• Staying home when sick
• Cohorting (grouping and separation of) students and staff
• Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
• Using personal protective equipment when appropriate (e.g., masking, eye protection)
• Ensuring proper hand hygiene
• Posting signage of appropriate public health measures (e.g., hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette)
• Maintaining physical distancing
• Case investigation and contact tracing when there is an individual who has tested positive including identifying students and staff that may have been in greater contact with individuals who have tested positive
• Requiring that a person who has tested positive, and identified close contacts, not attend school for a prescribed period of time

The following are critical actions for everyone:
• Anyone who is ill, even with mild symptoms, must stay home and isolate away from others.
• Do not have close contact with others outside the immediate household of people you live with. Outside of home, practice physical distancing at all times by staying 2 metres away from other people.
• Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.
• Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are not permitted except with members of the same household. Limit close contact to your household (the people you live with):
• Families should not visit any other household or allow visitors in their homes
• Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation
• All returning international travellers must stay home for 14 days.
• APH's Chippewa County travel advisory on January 27, 2021 strongly advises those who cross the Canada-US border regularly to also stay home as much as possible for 14 days, even if you are exempt from quarantine.

For more information:
Please visit the APH website for information on COVID-19. Or call 705-942-4646 ext. 3274.
Algoma Public Health
(Feb 4, 2021) IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL FAMILIES of Blind River Public School.  Thank you for your partnership, understanding and cooperation during the past several days, as we worked to support Algoma Public Health’s investigation. Unfortunately, what was a “possible exposure” on Wednesday, February 3rd became a confirmed case on February 4th. Please note the following information about the continuity of learning for Blind River P.S. students:
Thursday, February 4th – Please be reassured that the closure of the school today was not due to high exposure of the school community, but rather due to staffing, supervision and safety. We are experiencing a shortage of supply teachers and other replacement staff across our district, but the shortage is most challenging in smaller communities. We are continuing our efforts to recruit and to find solutions to these shortages.

Friday, February 5th – Friday was a previously planned Professional Development day and remains as such, thus there is no school for students on this day.

Monday, February 8th – beginning Monday, classes will be conducted virtually for all students until at least Friday, February 12th. We will communicate with families again prior to Feb. 12th to advise whether students will be returning or whether we will be extending the virtual learning for some or all students. If you require a device for your child, please contact the school and staff will arrange for pick-up starting as early as Friday, February 5th. We ask that you diligently respect the health and safety measures communicated to you for pick-up. Also, as we have a limited number of devices, please only request a device if it is necessary.

As you can appreciate, the situation in the community continues to evolve. We will continue to provide any necessary updates or information via email and our voice messaging system. Your ongoing cooperation and understanding are greatly appreciated. As this is a difficult time for both the school community and the community at large, please remember to be kind and compassionate to all, as we are all impacted, in some way, when the COVID-19 virus is circulating in our communities.

Stay safe. Stay well.
Algoma District School Board
The Algoma District School Board is advising all families of Blind River P.S. that, due to the ongoing COVID investigation with Algoma Public Health and 2 additional classes at the school being dismissed, the school will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, February 4th to all students and staff.
Please note that the closure is necessary as without all staff on site, we cannot guarantee the safety and supervision of students. Please review the letter below from Algoma Public Health,  advising of a positive case in the Blind River School community.  We will be providing an update tomorrow (Thursday, February 4th) with respect to the continuation of learning in the weeks ahead.