Daily Screening Expectations
Parents/guardians must assess their children daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory disease by completing the Alberta Health Questionnaire found in Appendix F before sending the child to school. The same assessment must be taken by any parent who is considering entering the school. If the child or parent answer yes to any question in the questionnaire, they must not enter the school building. As outlined in the staff section, all staff will need to follow similar screening procedures.
Parents must stay apprised of the latest list of symptoms for COVID-19, provided by Alberta Health Services. At the time of writing, symptoms include:
Shortness of Breath / Difficulty Breathing
Runny Nose / Nasal Congestion
Feeling unwell / Fatigued
Nausea / Vomiting / Diarrhea
Unexplained loss of appetite
Loss of sense of taste or smell
Muscle/ Joint aches
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Student Illness at School
If a student develops or exhibits COVID-19 related symptoms while at the school, the student will be directed to the applicable office (Elementary/Junior High). The student will be asked to wear a non-medical mask if they are able to, and be isolated in a separate room, or space that is 2 meters away from others.
Staff supervising symptomatic students will wear gloves, mask and face shield while attending the student, and adhere to strict handwashing techniques before and after.
The parent/guardian will be notified to come and pick up the student immediately. It is the expectation that the student is picked up within two hours. GCA encourages parents to have an additional emergency contact available for pick-up if parents both work and are not able to pick-up within two hours.
All items the student touched will be cleaned and disinfected as soon as the student has been picked up. Items that cannot be disinfected, i.e., paper, books, cardboard, will be removed from the classroom and stored in a sealed container for 72 hours (if not sent home with the student).
Parents must then complete the COVID-19 Self Assessment for Albertans online, to identify whether or not COVID-19 testing is required for their student. If the assessment indicates that testing is required, the student must be tested. If the student is tested and the results are negative, AHS regulations state that the student should remain at home until they are symptom-free.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19
If there are cases of COVID-19 identified within school settings, GCA’s Zone Medical Officer of Health will work directly with the school administration to provide follow-up recommendations and messaging for staff, parents/guardians and students.
Alberta Health Services may request the school close in-person classes to allow a public health investigation to take place. The decision to send a class home or to close the school will be made by the local Medical Officer of Health. If this were to occur, the school will support students and staff to learn or work at-home if they are required to self-isolate.
Students with Pre-Existing Conditions
Individuals who have allergies or ongoing health issues and who are exhibiting COVID-like symptoms must be tested at least once according to the Alberta Health Services Guidance. This will establish a baseline for the individual. If symptoms change (worsen, additional symptom, change in baseline) the individual must stay home and be tested and cleared. GCA will track typical symptoms that may be confused for COVID-19 for students in PowerSchool, as is usually done with other medical conditions (ie: allergies, illnesses requiring medication during school day, etc).
GCA will promote frequent and proper hand hygiene for students. Students must sanitize their hands before and after eating, when entering the building, when leaving the building, when entering classrooms, and when leaving classrooms. Hand washing with soap and water is required if a student has visibly dirty hands. Proper handwashing procedure includes washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Hand sanitizer (a non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada for effectiveness against COVID-19) will be placed at entrances/exits, classrooms and high traffic areas. GCA has chosen a non-alcohol based sanitizer because these hand sanitizers cause less skin irritation, are non-flammable, and pose less of a threat when accidentally ingested. To reiterate, the hand sanitizer being used in the school has been approved by Health Canada for effectiveness against COVID-19.
Signage has been placed throughout the facility to encourage proper hand hygiene and the regular practice of hand washing or sanitizing. Staff will encourage and model proper hand washing, sanitizing, and distancing measures for students to observe and place into practice.
GCA’s students will also be expected and encouraged to follow proper respiratory etiquette (e.g., coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow, promptly disposing of used tissues in the trash), if they become symptomatic while at school. No symptomatic students should be sent to school.