In our second update on June 26, 2020, we shared the results of the PWPSD Re-entry Survey, provided answers to your questions, and included a screening tool that must be used at home for daily self-assessment. Beginning in September, anyone who will access our schools for work or education must self-screen for symptoms each morning before leaving home.
For now, we continue to target Scenario 1 in our re-entry planning: a return to normal school operations with health measures in place. In the event of a regional COVID-19 outbreak during the summer months, Alberta Health and Alberta Education will advise us on the next steps, which could include a move to Scenario 2 where schools are partially reopened, with restrictions; or Scenario 3, a temporary return to home learning until the situation is brought under control. The same may be true if cases rise during the school year.
Today’s update focuses on the recommended hand hygiene and our enhanced cleaning measures to help keep students and staff safe. As the first line of defence against the virus, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hinshaw regularly reminds us of the importance of good hygiene and disinfection. Here are some ways students, families and our school staff can support this advice:
Recommended hand hygiene for students and staff:
- Wash your hands frequently and/or use hand sanitizer often while at school. A sink and/or hand sanitizer may be available in high traffic areas, such as entrances, classrooms, and near high-touch equipment such as microwave ovens and vending machines.
- Wash or sanitize your hands upon entering a classroom; after returning from recess; and before eating.
- Avoid touching your face to reduce the chance of transmission through your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Label personal items and do not share them. Do not share food, drinks or utensils.
Enhanced cleaning measures for schools and buses:
- More frequent cleaning of high contact surfaces such as microwave ovens, vending machines, water fountain knobs and buttons, washrooms and shared equipment; and in high traffic areas such as libraries and cafeterias.
- Items that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected will be removed from schools.
- Buses will be equipped with hand sanitizer, to be used when boarding the bus.
- Buses will be cleaned following morning and afternoon runs. An assigned seating plan will see students from the same household seated together, where possible.
The PWPSD School Re-entry Committee is continuing its planning work during the summer months and we will continue to provide regular updates. The final decision from Alberta Education will be announced by August 1st.
Schedule of PWPSD School Re-entry Planning Updates to Families:
- Update #1, June 8, 2020: Launch of PWPSD’s School Re-entry Planning process and survey.
- Update #2, end of June 2020: We reported on the PWPSD School Re-Entry Survey, and provided a screening tool and answers to your questions.
- Update #3, mid-July 2020: This is your current update, which focuses on the recommended hand hygiene and our enhanced cleaning measures. Please note that Alberta Education will be providing final direction on the re-entry scenario by August 1st.
- Update #4, end of July 2020
- Update #5, early August 2020
- Update #6, mid-August 2020: This update will include our finalized school operations plans for the 2020-21 school year, including transportation plans.