As the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and families are paramount, the North Vancouver School District has in place strict health and safety measures co-developed by public health officials, education partners and ministry staff.
We will continue to work under the Ministry of Education’s
Operational Guidelines for School District and Independent School Authorities and
Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings, and we will adapt and implement any changes to our plan that may come from the Ministry of Education or Provincial Health Officer. Information specific to the
North Vancouver School District Stage 2 Restart Plan can be found
The purpose of this FAQ is to share with our community of students, staff and families, including members of the public, information on the processes, roles and responsibilities involved in managing symptoms of illness, exposure to COVID-19, and confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 within the school community. It is largely informed from the Ministry of Education’s
COVID-19 Protocols for School and District Administrators - Management of Illness and Confirmed Cases.Click HERE to access Vancouver Coastal Health's school exposure listing.
A: A confirmed case is a person with laboratory confirmation of infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 performed at a community, hospital or reference laboratory.
A: Contact tracing is a process led by local health authorities to identify people who have been in close contact with a confirmed case.
Contact tracing helps people get diagnosed earlier and reduces the chance of spreading COVID-19.
Only contacts who may have been exposed to respiratory droplets from the confirmed case (through coughing, sneezing or speaking) need to be identified.
More information on contact tracing is available on the A: During Stage 2 of the BCCDC website
A: A school cluster is when there are multiple confirmed and linked cases of COVID-19 among students and/or staff within a 14-day period. The determination of clusters can only be made by medical health officers.
A: Self-isolation means staying home and avoiding situations where one could come in contact with others. Self-isolation is required for those:
A: Quarantine is a term typically reserved for people who return from travel outside the country, who are at risk of developing COVID-19.
A: Medical health officers are physicians who work within health authorities and have authority and responsibilities outlined in the PUBLIC HEALTH ACT.These include directing the public health response to local public threats, like COVID-19.
A: School medical officers are medical health officers who have additional authority and responsibilities outlined in the SCHOOL ACT.They are responsible for directing the local public health response to any public health threat that affects schools, like COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
Every school has a school medical offer assigned to it. For the North Vancouver School District, we work with MEDICAL HEALTH OFFICERS AT VANCOUVER COASTAL HEALTH
DEVELOPING SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS AT SCHOOL
A: If a student or staff member develops symptoms at school, schools will:
CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASE IN A SCHOOL
A: If a student, staff or other individual who has been in a school is a confirmed case of COVID-19 through testing or investigation (i.e. case finding), the local health authority (Vancouver Coastal Health) will initiate contact tracing to determine how they were infected and who else may have been at risk of infection.
If there was a potential exposure at a school (i.e. the confirmed case attended school when they may have been potentially infectious), the health authority will work with the school administrator to understand who may have been exposed, and to determine what actions should be taken, including identifying if other students or staff are sick (case finding) or have been exposed and should monitor for symptoms or self-isolate.
If there was no potential exposure at the school (i.e. the confirmed case did not attend school when they may have been potentially infectious), the health authority will not notify the school administrator.
A: Students and staff are only required to self-isolate if directed to do so by health authority staff – this includes members of the learning group/cohort of the confirmed case. Only health authorities can determine who is a close contact.
School administrators will ensure necessary plans are in place to support continuity of learning for students who are required to self-isolate.
School districts will have contingency plans in place to arrange coverage for staff who are required to self-isolate.
Depending on the circumstances (e.g. type of interactions, when and how long they were exposed, ability of a confirmed case to fully self-isolate from others in their household, etc.), public health may determine that someone who was in contact with a confirmed case while they were infectious is at low risk of developing COVID-19. In this situation, the person may be asked to self-monitor for symptoms but will not be required to self-isolate. Individuals asked to self-monitor for symptoms may continue to attend school.
A: Other people who are not identified as close contacts of a confirmed case, but who may have interacted with the confirmed case while they were infectious, may be advised by health authority staff to self-monitor for symptoms but can still attend school.
School medical officers may require additional measures to be taken, which may include:
A: School medical officers will play the lead role in determining if, when and how to communicate out information regarding a confirmed case to the school community.
To protect personal privacy rights, health authorities will not disclose that a student or staff member is a confirmed case of COVID-19 unless there is reason to believe they may have been infectious when they attended school. In this case, the health authority will provide only the information required to support effective contact tracing and only to the school administrator or delegate.
Health authority staff will notify everyone who they determine may have been exposed, including if any follow-up actions are recommended (e.g. self-isolate, monitor for symptoms, etc.). School medical officers will also work with the school administrator to determine if additional notifications are warranted (e.g. notification to the broader school community).
Please see below for a summary of the public health actions that will be taken in response to a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school:
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COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings
BC Centre for Disease Control
COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings
Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings
COVID-19 Operational Guidelines for School Districts and Independent School Authorities