Hat High student tests positive

·2 min read

A positive case of COVID-19 has been identified in a student at Medicine Hat High School.

Medicine Hat Public School Division found out about the case Wednesday evening and sent out a release Thursday morning informing parents, guardians and staff.

A total of 29 students and staff are now self isolating. The date people can return to school is based off of when contact was made between both parties.

The release states that exposure is believed to be limited to a small group of students and staff. All close contacts of the positive case have been identified and are already self isolating.

“This was confirmed (Wednesday) and then we started the process of getting ahold of families, and putting together spreadsheets,” said superintendent Mark Davidson. “Thus far we’ve been informed by Alberta Health Services of one active case in the school. Based off that student’s movement and attendance, we’re pretty aware of the number of students and staff who were exposed to that student when they were contagious.”

Davidson added that the school board does not know if the COVID-19 transmission happened at school or in the community.

Hat High has done a full cleaning and disinfecting of the areas that the infected individual may have gone.

This is the second positive case linked to Medicine Hat public schools. Last month there was one non-student case connected to Elm Street and Herald Schools. Since then, staff and students have returned back to school.

“Maintaining records of when people enter a building and when they leave is critically important,” he said. “When (AHS) asked us for information, we were able to provide it because the staff at Elm Street had kept excellent records.

“Everyone is back to school and back to work.”

Davidson added that MHHS working in the quarter system helps limit any potential spread.

“The quarter system has allowed us to have students attend two classes per day,” he said. “If a student comes to school infectious, it’s likely that a maximum of two classes would (be deemed close contacts).

“Schools that are on a four-block system are going to have a higher number of students that are likely to isolate if there is a case.”

The board is also reminding families to complete the Alberta Daily Health Check before sending kids to school each day.

“This isn’t our first case and it won’t be our last,” he said. “We’re feeling like we have a good handle on our part, with regard to COVID-19 tracking.”

Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News