Home Education Schools during COVID-19 Parents want letters if COVID exposure in their child’s school

Parents want letters if COVID exposure in their child’s school

Strong response from parents, wanting advisory if COVID exposure in their child's school.

Tuesday August 31, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated September 1, 2021]

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends


There will be more COVID cases and hospitalizations in the next month, and the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated.

That was the nugget of today’s COVID data modelling message by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry today, as livestreamed and taking media questions.

Health Minister Adrian Dix today said he hopes that BC will “lead the world in our level of vaccination”. | See the other key aspects of today’s vaccination news from Dr Henry’s media session.

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Back to school is coming up September 7, 2021. [Photo by Jalen Codrington | Island Social Trends]

COVID notification in schools:

Public health leaders are asking parents and families to make wise choices during this fourth wave of COVID. If there’s a known exposure, that supports smart decision-making for the safety of families and friends.

Island Social Trends asked on Twitter today if parents would want to know about an exposure in their school, or assume that ‘no news is good news’.

poll, twitter, covid
Poll on Twitter as to whether parents would want to know if there’s a COVID exposure in their child(ren)’s school. [August 31, 2021 by @IslandSocTrends]

A quick poll asked this: “Today Dr Henry said there seemed to be more angst last year about getting a letter than not (re any #COVID in-#school exposure). To #parents: If your child was not deemed as exposed would you prefer to still receive a letter, or get no letter & assume no news is good news?”

After the first hour (participation is anonymous), the results were:

  • Yes I’d want a letter 85.7%
  • No news is good news 14.3%

and then after 24 hours the final results were even higher for wanting a letter (26 respondents):

  • Yes I’d want a letter 88.5%
  • No news is good news 11.5%
poll, twitter, covid
Poll by Island Social Trends: Parents do want to know if there’s a COVID exposure in their child(ren)’s school. [24-hour poll, Aug 31 to Sept 1, 2021 | on Twitter]

Parent comments:

Here are some of the many comments from parents today on Twitter, in response to @IslandSocTrends posting about whether parents would be notified about an exposure at their child(ren)’s school:

  • I am a parent. I want to know what is happening at my child’s school. ~ Mamma Bear
  • I am a parent and I want to know when covid is in my school even if it is not in my child’s class. Knowledge is power and allows my family to make decisions based on risk and comfort level. ~ @BCschoolCovid
  • Why would I NOT want to know? Maybe that means we skip visiting the grandparents for a week or 2? Or don’t expose other vulnerable friends and family. How can you plan to keep people safe without the correct info? ~ @KdCoates2017
  • I am a parent and Dr Henry does not speak for me. I want to know about exposures in my kids schools. I want to know about exposures in my community!! I have a right to protect my health and that of my family. ~ @Kristy91808800
  • The angst from receiving the letters was not because my child was exposed but because of how long it took to find out my child was exposed. ~ Hilda Car
  • I absolutely want to know if there’s a COVID case at my child’s school. @DrBonnieHenry @adriandix @jjhorgan ~ Loretta Walsh
  • At this point I have learned to expect that Public Health and the government are not “accurately reporting” (being charitable here) school exposure/transmission data, so “no news” is more anxiety producing than actually getting all the data in a transparent/timely manner. ~ Julia Smith
  • I wish the PHO would stop trying to reduce public anxiety by controlling the data and rather do so by taking action to make the population safer. ~ Julia Smith
  • Time to take control, Parents: if your child tests positive, inform the principal ASAP and insist that the exposure be anonymously shared with the school community. Teachers and other #bced workers: commit to doing the same. ~ Julia Smith
  • Almost all parents would want to know if a Covid exposure occurred at their child’s school. The issue is timeliness, last years letters by Public Health took far to long after that exposure occurred. The speed of the letter or notification needs to be faster to be effective. ~ N Vatic
  • I want to be notified. It would be easy enough for schools to set up an email list for such notifications that parents could opt into. ~ Jo Brecken
  • Transparency is key to trust. BC has been the least transparent province throughout the pandemic. That is what causes concern not the exposure letters. It is quite a patronizing approach. Some families have heightened risk. I’m disgusted by this news. It’s Alberta’s policies. (replying to @B49449739 @BCschoolCovid and @IslandSocTrends) ~ giraffeamongsheep
  • Yup. She says it’s a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, yet sends our unvaccinated kids into poorly ventilated over stuffed classrooms. Most of last year’s school protections have been taken away. It’s Trump’s “let ‘er rip, if we don’t test we don’t have cases” strategy. ~ S. Mills
  • How many families rely on grandparents to help with childcare? DBH never understands that children are part of the community. Withholding this information puts whole communities at risk, including more vulnerable people. Parents need transparency to help protect those we love! ~ Jane Winters
  • Not knowing- flying blind– creates a whole lot of stress that won’t ease until the end of June. Especially with unvaccinated kids under 12 and unmasked & unvaccinated kids under 9. ~ Alyson Skinner
  • Really, such a simple thing to ask for in the middle of a deadly pandemic. ~ Jennifer-Juniper Angeli
  • The high schools here have rapid testing for all those who have been exposed and parents will be called. We having shot clinics at all schools. #WeRTrying ~ Andrea Leithoff
comments, parents, covid
Robust feedback about whether or not parents should be advised about COVID exposures at their children’s school. August 31, 2021 on Twitter.
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Check out the new Monk Office website.

===== COVID INFORMATION LINKS (provided by BC Health):

For the Aug. 31, 2021, modelling presentation, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/8-31_PHO_modelling.pdf

For the provincial health officer’s order on masks in public indoor settings, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/25217

For the Aug. 23, 2021, announcement on proof of vaccination in B.C., visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/25211

For the Aug. 12, 2021, announcement on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for long-term care workers, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/25143

Randall Garrison, re-elect

For new health measures in the central Okanagan, visit:
https://www.interiorhealth.ca/AboutUs/MediaCentre/NewsReleases/Documents/IB_COVID_Outbreak_6%20August.pdf

For information on breakthrough cases, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/7-27_breakthrough_cases.pdf

Or see the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) weekly data summary: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data#summary

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Condo-living in Langford.

Detailed data is posted daily on the BCCDC dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
Or: www.bccdc.ca

To register to be immunized or to learn about getting your second dose, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register
Or: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/dose-2

To learn about BC’s Restart plan, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restart

For recent modelling, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/6-28_PHO_presentation.pdf

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Stock up for back to school.

For the provincial health officer’s orders and guidance, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

For guidance on restrictions, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions

The latest updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

For COVID-19 exposure events, updates and information, visit:

* BCCDC: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures

* Fraser Health: fraserhealth.ca/covid19exposure

* Interior Health: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/public-exposures/

* Island Health: https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/data-outbreaks-facilities

* Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/outbreaks-and-exposures

* Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures

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