Okotoks school postpones reopening after staff member tests positive for COVID-19
Enhanced cleaning protocols have been ordered at the school south of Calgary
Meadow Ridge School in Okotoks was closed Tuesday after a staff member was diagnosed with COVID-19, Foothills School Division officials say.
Even though Alberta Health Services advised that students could safely attend class as scheduled on Sept. 1, school officials decided postpone the beginning of the semester.
The decision was made Monday evening.
"We were first informed of this individual testing positive at 6 p.m. Contact tracing was completed by 10:30 p.m. Although we are thankful that school authorities are receiving such prompt attention, we wouldn't be able to inform families of a cancellation at that late hour," said division spokesperson Candace Denison in an email to CBC News.
"The decision was therefore made earlier in the evening to err on the side of caution and postpone classes for today."
In a letter to community members, school division officials said the staff member was in the kindergarten to Grade 9 school at noon on Friday and that symptoms began that evening.
"Out of an abundance of caution and as we continue our focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19, we have directed our custodial services team to conduct enhanced cleaning protocols this evening," the letter said.
"This additional cleaning will focus on areas where the individual was present along with high touch areas and surfaces throughout the facility."
Families who were scheduled to send children to school on Tuesday will receive further details about their new staggered entry date from the school once it is available.
"Our thoughts remain with this individual and their family," principal Rebecca Forchuk and Foothills School Division Supt. Chris Fuzessy wrote in a letter Monday. "We wish them a safe and speedy recovery."
With files from The Canadian Press