Parents are not required to self-isolate if their child is home sick unless the child has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been identified as a close contact according to Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer for the province of Alberta.
“The reason for this, is that positivity rates for school aged children right now are less than one per cent. So while we recommend that children who are sick should stay home and get tested, their household contacts are not required to self-isolate unless the test comes back positive or that child has been in close contact with different COVID case,” said Hinshaw in her Oct. 8 update.
COVID-19 cases in the Lakeland region remain low. According to the provincial government’s status map, there are three cases in the County of St. Paul, four cases in Smoky Lake County, and one each in the M.D. of Bonnyville and the City of Cold Lake. There are 97 cases in the North Zone.
According to Hinshaw, 364 new cases have been identified and 276 of them are in Edmonton.
Because of this, she is introducing voluntary health measures for the capital region.
“While these voluntary measures are focused on the Edmonton zone, everyone in the province should take note. We must all take precautions to limit the virus’s spread to our friends, family and loved ones.”
The new health measures include a firm limit of 15 people at private social gatherings.
“This does not impact schools or more formal gatherings such as theatres, worship services or other gatherings where an organizer is ensuring that all COVID guidance is in place,” said Hinshaw.
“Second, I am recommending that masks should be worn in all indoor work settings, except when alone in workspaces, such as cubicles, or offices where you can be safely distanced from others or an appropriate barrier is in place.”
“Finally, I’m asking everyone in the zone to limit their cohorts to no more than three: their core household cohort, their school cohorts, and no more than one other social sport or other group.”
A cohort is a small group of people who can interact regularly without staying two metres apart.
Hinshaw cautioned against large get-togethers over the Thanksgiving weekend, urging everyone to keep their celebrations small and safe.