Case of COVID-19 confirmed at Bowness High School

Classroom of school

A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Bowness High School in Calgary.

The school remains open for in-person learning, and staff are working with Alberta Health Services to clean and disinfect items touched by the individual, principal Jana Macdonald said in a letter to parents posted to the school's website on Saturday.

The school said AHS will contact parents or guardians of students, as well as staff, visitors and volunteers, who were in close contact with the positive case.

Those contacts will be completed prior to the return to school on Tuesday, Macdonald said.

"If you are not directly contacted by AHS then your child is not a close contact and should not be at increased risk from COVID-19," she said.

"All students directed to quarantine by AHS will be supported in maintaining course work during the designated period."

Macdonald reminded parents to monitor students for any symptoms of COVID-19 each day before entering the school. If students are showing symptoms, they should stay home and either complete the online AHS self-assessment or call 811.

Rozita Ighani's son is in Grade 10 at the high school. She said she received a phone call from AHS that informed her that someone in her son's science class had tested positive for COVID-19.

"It's scary, because until before the phone call we were all hanging out together and everything was normal," Ighani said. "I figure if we've been exposed, then the whole family has been exposed."

Ighani said she's concerned about her son falling behind on his learning while in quarantine.

"I think it's inevitable that it'll hit probably every school, but from the beginning I always wondered about what isolation and quarantine will look like if an outbreak happens," she said.

Chef Michael Allemeier tweeted on Saturday afternoon that he had received a call from HealthLink, as an individual in his son's high school class at the school had tested positive.

Allemeier wrote that his son's entire class is being instructed to self-isolate for 14 days.

"First week of school..." he wrote.

Students had their first day of school at Bowness High on Tuesday.

Calgary had 638 active COVID-19 cases as of Friday. Cases had also been reported at Canyon Meadows School in Calgary and Meadow Ridge School in Okotoks prior to classes resuming this week.

Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday that his government has accepted that such infections are inevitable and don't warrant closing down all classrooms.