A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Chinook High School in Lethbridge, according to Alberta Health Services.
AHS issued a notice to parents on Wednesday that said while public health officials are investigating coronavirus cases at the school, “the risk of the general population in the school becoming infected because of these cases is low.”
In an email to Global News, AHS said “two or more cases of COVID-19 attended Chinook High School, in Lethbridge, while infectious.”
“AHS is already working directly with the school to limit risk of spread. This includes assessing the classroom(s) setting and identifying and assessing the close contacts of the case. Any individual considered exposed to this case will be contacted directly by Alberta Health Services, per standard contact tracing procedures,” the health authority said.
AHS added that physical distancing, masking, hand hygiene and environmental cleaning have also been reviewed with the school.
Lethbridge School Division Superintendent Cheryl Gilmore says there are at least 140 people being asked to go into a 14-day quarantine with online classes as a result.
“Those two students attended seven different cohorts — or in other words, seven different classes — so we have seven cohorts of students who have received letters to be in quarantine,” Gilmore said.
She said the outbreak is not a surprise but noted both cases saw COVID-19 be contracted outside of school facilities.
“I’m confident that the schools have really worked hard to have prevention in place and all of the measures in place,” Gilmore said.
A parent of one of the infected students reached out to Global News to confirm that her child was asymptomatic at the time of testing. Global News as agreed not to publish her name in order to protect her child’s identity.
She said her child continues to be asymptomatic, and as a result, had no way of knowing they were infectious.
The student voluntarily tested on Sept. 2 and received a positive COVID-19 result on Sept. 8 following the long weekend.
Chinook High School will remain open and division officials said they have no plans to change protocol as a result of the outbreak.
Watch below: Some videos from Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s news conference on Wednesday in which she offered an updated on the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.