EDMONTON — Alberta's chief medical officer is trying to reassure parents and teachers as students start returning to schools across the province next week.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw says she knows concerns over the pandemic are adding to the usual back-to-school jitters.
She made her comments as Alberta Health reported 108 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 1,158 active cases across the province.
There are also two additional deaths, which means 237 Albertans have now died due to the virus.
Hinshaw offered her condolences and took a minute to thank people who are doing their part every day to stop the virus, as well as school staff, teachers and parents who are preparing for classes to resume.
She noted it's the first time anyone in the province has gone back to school in a pandemic and it's natural to feel nervous, excited and anxious.
"One thing that can help in addressing anxiety is information," Hinshaw said.
She says anyone who is still concerned about the return to school should look at both a tool kit prepared by the province and a resource guide for COVID-19 outbreaks in schools.
The guide, Hinshaw said, sets out specific protocols should a school experience one person with symptoms, a confirmed case or multiple cases leading to an outbreak being declared.
It does not, however, specify what will trigger a school closure.
"This is intentional and meant to ensure that each situation gets a full assessment," she said. "Return to in-school learning is complex and a number of factors will inform any school closure decision.
"Each situation will be different."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Aug. 27, 2020.
The Canadian Press