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Two Cochrane Schools on enhanced status following COVID-19 outbreaks

Cochrane High School and Bow Valley High School are on alert and outbreak status following outbreaks at the schools.
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Two Cochrane high schools have been placed on enhanced status following outbreaks at the schools.

COCHRANE— Two Cochrane high schools have been placed on enhanced status following a COVID-19 outbreak at each location.

Alberta Health Services has confirmed 15 positive cases of COVID-19 at Bow Valley High School on Monday (March 1), and officially put the school in “outbreak status.”

Another 280-or-so students and 16 staff members are working from home due to isolation orders following the outbreak, said Tara de Weerd, director of communications for Rocky View Schools.

“Given the majority of students are still able to attend class and our ability to have the necessary substitute teachers, the school will remain open,” de Weerd said in a statement provided to The Eagle.  “The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is our number one concern. We continue to implement strict COVID-19 measures to limit the spread within our schools as well as seek opportunities to remind our students, staff and families of the importance of following these protocols to keep each other safe.”

There are roughly 700 kids participating in on-campus learning this year at the high school, the statement said.

A letter to parents from Bow Valley High principal, Jim Reilly, said that the school is working closely with Alberta Health Services to ensure that necessary precautions are being taken, including a thorough cleaning of the school before students returned on March 2.

“Those students and staff, who our records show would likely have had close contact with the individual who tested positive, have been provided additional information in a separate email about required isolation and will be contacted directly by Alberta Health Services by email in the days ahead,” said Reilly’s letter.

On March 3, Alberta Health Services issued a notice that Cochrane High School was also placed on alert status, after two positive cases were discovered at the school.

Both schools remain open to students.

James Wood, director of issues management and media relations with Alberta Health Services said that the organization is following up with the positive individuals to identify exposure to COVID-19, transmission, and close contacts.

The government of Alberta has indicated that the vaccine rollout for the general public, including children and adults who do not have underlying health issues, is set to begin in the spring or early summer of 2021.

For more information visit alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine/