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COVID-19 Division Update

February 9, 2022

Good afternoon MHCBE families, 

Last evening we sent information outlining the Alberta Government’s plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions across the province. After meetings with legal counsel and Alberta Education representatives, we are able to provide additional information on how the provincial update affects the day-to-day functionality of our schools. 

Effective February 9, 2022::

  • The Restriction Exemption Program is no longer in effect in Alberta. Adults and youth over 12 no longer have to produce proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend games or performances. Therefore, our Division Administrative Procedure 492: COVID-19 Vaccination Status will be paused in totality. Schools will not be checking for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • There will be no limits on fans and audiences in school buildings with a capacity under 500 (all of our Catholic schools fall in this category).
  • Masking remains mandatory for all adults entering school buildings until March 1, 2022.

Effective February 14, 2022:

  • Masking is no longer mandatory for K-12 students in school or on buses. Students will not be asked to wear a mask at school. As always, our Catholic schools will continue to offer a supportive environment for anyone who chooses to wear a mask at school. 
  • Masking is still mandatory for all adults who enter school buildings.

Effective March 1, 2022:

  • Masking is no longer required for adults.
  • Cohort requirements are no longer in place, full school events (assemblies etc.) are now permitted. 

In effect until further notice from the Government of Alberta:

  • Staff, students and visitors must continue to complete the Daily Health Checklist each day before entering a school building. If you are feeling unwell, please stay home.
  • Isolation and quarantine requirements will continue to be in effect until further notice from the Government of Alberta and Health Officials.

As always, we will continue to follow the guidelines as recommended by The Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Government of Alberta. It is my sincere hope that staff, students and families continue to treat one another with respect and kindness as we continue to move through another unique school year.

 

God bless!

 

Dr. Dwayne Zarichny
Superintendent of Schools
Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education

_________________________________

 

February 8, 2022

Good evening MHCBE families, 

This evening at 5:00 p.m. Premier Kenny shared details regarding Alberta’s most recent COVID-19 Public Health Actions. From the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020, Medicine Hat Catholic Schools have continued to follow the guidance and recommendations provided by the Government of Alberta and the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Our school division will continue to follow the recommendations provided by the provincial government. Below you will find updates that affect schools as we move toward reopening Alberta. View the full press release here.

“When it comes to our children, there are many important factors to consider when they attend school,  including seeing the facial expressions of teachers and classmates, having the ability to be animated and joyful, and considering the mental health impacts that come along with public health measures such as masking. I have been encouraged to see a downward trend in the number of Alberta schools shifted to at-home learning over the last few weeks. At the peak of the fifth wave there were 29  schools that were shifted to at-home learning, and today only 7 of the over 2,500+ schools in our province remain learning at home. Effective Monday, February 14, 2022 the masking requirements in CMOH 22-2021 will be removed and as such there will be no masking requirements for any students in schools or on school buses. At this time, masking will still be required for adults including teachers, administrators and other school staff including school bus drivers.” - Education Minister, Adriana LaGrange

Masking: Effective February 13 at 11:59 p.m., masks will no longer be required for students K-12 while attending school or while riding the school bus. As always, our Catholic schools will continue to offer a supportive environment for anyone who chooses to wear a mask at school. At this time, masking will still be required for adults including teachers, administrators and other school staff including school bus drivers.

Cohorting and large school gatherings: Effective March 1, 2022, large school gatherings such as assemblies will be permitted. Details will be shared in the coming days.

Division Vaccine Administrative Procedure: School Divisions are not considered to be part of the Restriction Exemption Program. In the fall of 2021, the Minister of Education and Minister of Health sent a joint letter asking School Divisions across Alberta to encourage proof of vaccination policies for adults in schools. Shortly after, our COVID-19 AP 492 was developed and implemented.

School Divisions are currently awaiting approval from The Minister of Education to retract COVID-19 Vaccine Policies. AP 492 will continue to be in effect across the division until further notice. Information regarding our division Vaccine Administrative Procedure will be shared in the coming days. 

Daily Health Checklist & Isolation: The Daily Health Checklist is still in place across Alberta. We ask that staff and students continue to screen daily for symptoms using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist and isolate if they are feeling ill or test positive for COVID-19.

School cleaning/sanitization continues: High-touch surfaces will continue to be cleaned throughout the school day.

Hand washing and sanitizing: Staff and students continue to practice good hygiene habits including regular handwashing and use of the hand sanitizer stations at the entry of the school buildings and outside of each classroom.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this pandemic. 

God Bless!

Dr. Dwayne Zarichny
Superintendent of Schools
Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education

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