Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Contact Tracing Notification Process
novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
November 6, 2020
Q: What is a Close Contact?
A: Close contacts are defined as anyone that was within two metres of a positive case of COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, even if a mask was worn during that contact. A close contact is ALSO someone who has had direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on), or who provided direct care for a person who has COVID-19. For sports that involve close, sustained or intermittent and repeated contact, all members of the teams playing each other are considered close contacts when there is a case on a team.
Anyone who falls into any of the above categories is considered a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19..
Q: Who is 'infectious'?
A: You are deemed infectious in the two days leading up to when you became sick (or two days before you had your COVID-19 swab taken if you didn’t have any symptoms) and any days since you started experiencing symptoms or after you had your swab taken (if you didn’t have any symptoms).
COVID-19 IN SCHOOL (K-12) SETTINGS A resource guide for schools before, during, and after a COVID-19 outbreak 2020 Government of Alberta | Published: August 20, 2020
Q: Does everyone in the class need to be quarantined if there is one symptomatic child/staff/visitor/volunteer?
A: No, everyone in the class does not need to be quarantined. If a child/staff/visitor/volunteer has one of the core symptoms of fever, cough (new cough or worsening chronic cough), shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (new or worsening), runny nose or sore throat, they must stay home and isolate for 10 days. If they have any other symptoms of illness, they should stay home until their symptoms resolve. Any individual with symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested as soon as possible, which can be arranged through the AHS online self-assessment tool. Contacts of someone who IS NOT a case of COVID-19 are not required to isolate or quarantine. Please see Appendix E for isolation and quarantine requirements.
Q. Do we need to send the whole class home if the teacher becomes a confirmed case of COVID-19?
A: If a teacher or staff member becomes a confirmed case of COVID-19, Alberta Health Services Public Health will work with the school community to identify close contacts and ensure that they follow the appropriate quarantine restrictions. The specific details of the case will determine who is considered to be a close contact.
Q: How many confirmed cases in a single school will result in closure of the school?
A: Any one confirmed case will result in an investigation by Alberta Health Services Public Health. It is likely with a single case that exposure is limited to a single class or group. Closures of specific classes, cohorts or schools may occur dependent on the outcome of an investigation. Public health measures for outbreak management are at the discretion of the Zone Medical Officer of Health (MOH); decisions on the need for alternate instructional delivery plans or school closures will be made by Government in conjunction with local officials.
Q: What does the school administration do if a staff member or parent/guardian of a student/child calls the school to say they/the student or child are COVID-19 positive and the school has not been previously notified by AHS?
A: Alberta Health Services (AHS) receives all of the case notifications directly from the lab. If there is confirmed case in a school, the school will be contacted by AHS. It is not necessary to contact AHS to confirm. The appropriate individuals and schools will be notified. Parents and staff with general inquiries can be directed to call Health Link at 811 or can visit the Alberta Health Services website: albertahealthservices.ca/info/Page6410.aspx