School District 20 reported two cases of COVID-19 at their offices on Wednesday.
In a letter forwarded to the Trail Times, acting SD 20 superintendent Katherine Shearer confirmed the cases to staff at the board office and Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre, Trail Campus.
“This letter is to advise you that two staff members of the School Board Office have tested positive for COVID-19. They are isolated at home with support from public health officials.
“Interior Health is in the process of directly contacting any individuals who may have been exposed to provide direction and support.”
The cases come just days after one was reported at Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar and another at Teck Trail operations.
Interior Health (IH) confirmed the cases in Trail and Castlegar, but would not elaborate. The Times also asked IH if the cases were linked but they could not verify due to privacy reasons.
“Interior Health can confirm there are two cases of COVID-19 at the School District 20 office as well as the student case at Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar,” replied Interior Health communications consultant Karl Hardt. “We are not providing any further details about these cases for privacy reasons.”
However, IH assures the public that their public health team investigates all COVID-19 cases and determines if exposure has occurred, said Hardt.
“Interior Health has a thorough contact tracing program to follow up with individuals identified as at risk of COVID-19. If there is risk to the public, IH has and will continue to alert communities.”
Shearer advised staff to stay home if they had symptoms and follow the guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control if they become ill.
“We recognize the importance of individuals contacting 811 or using the self-assessment tool on-line when they experience symptoms. This is a crucial step in supporting the health of our community and anyone with symptoms can be tested at a local testing centre in the community.”
IH also provided info on the process for any COVID cases found in schools:
· If there is a positive COVID-19 case at a school, Interior Health will follow up directly with anyone who has potentially been exposed.
· IH public health has a robust contact tracing process.
· Parents of students who may be at risk of exposure will be contacted directly by IH public health.
· If parents have not been contacted, it is because their child is not impacted.
· IH will work closely with each school district to ensure parents have the accurate information they need.
· If there is a broader risk to other students, families or the community, Interior Health will also issue a broader notice.
Six new cases of COVID-19 were reported by Interior Health on Sept. 16, bringing the total to 485.