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Calgary students are switching to virtual learning. eight more COVID deaths

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Hinshaw said Alberta is seeing “a sharp increase in cases among school-age Albertans”.

Author of the article:

Sammy Hudes

Release date:

April 14, 2021 • • 10 hours ago • • Read for 4 minutes • • 5 comments Bowness High School in NW Calgary on Wednesday April 7, 2021. Photo by Darren Makowichuk / Postmedia

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Students in grades 7 through 12 in public and Catholic schools in Calgary will temporarily switch to home study for at least two weeks, the province said on Wednesday, as more than 1,400 new COVID-19 cases have been reported across Alberta.

Alberta Education approved requests from both the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District to move to virtual classrooms starting Monday due to a lack of chronic substitute teachers and a “significant number of students and staff” in quarantine or isolation. She also cited recent requests for short-term postponements for a number of schools and “significant COVID-19 cases in the community”.

“While it is preferable to study in school, we recognize that some school authorities are facing pressure due to the increasing COVID-19 cases in their community,” said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange.

“Every situation is unique. . . and COVID does not affect schools in the same way across the province. “

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Seventy-seven schools in Calgary were listed with five or more cases of COVID-19 in an “outbreak” status on Wednesday, according to data on the Alberta Health website.

The province reported 1,412 more cases from 15,738 tests on Wednesday, which translates to a positive rate of nine percent. Of these, 778 were variant strains of the deadly virus.

Alberta had 8,197 active cases of COVID-19, which is roughly 52.6 percent of its total of 15,569 active COVID-19 cases.

Eight more coronavirus-related deaths were reported Wednesday, bringing the Alberta pandemic death toll to 2,029 since March 2020.

Around 46 percent of all active cases in the province were in AHS ‘Calgary Zone.

NEW – Alberta reports eight more COVID-19 deaths today, bringing the province’s pandemic-related deaths to 2,029.

With a positivity rate of 9%, a total of 1,412 additional cases were found from 15,738 tests. # COVID19AB pic.twitter.com/fRfnibFxkk

– Sammy Hudes (@SammyHudes) April 14, 2021

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On Wednesday, 420 Albertans infected with COVID-19 were in the hospital, including 92 patients treated in intensive care units.

Meanwhile, Alberta passed the milestone of one million COVID-19 vaccine doses dispensed on Tuesday. In the province, a total of 1,004,123 doses have been administered through AHS and community pharmacies, with nearly 18.1 percent of Albertans now having some protection against COVID-19.

A total of 194,012 Albertans were fully immunized with two doses of vaccine.

But the chief health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Alberta is seeing “a sharp increase in cases among school-age Albertans”.

“While this is an operational decision, I support it and urge parents and students to continue to make safe decisions to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Hinshaw said in a statement.

“Social activities outside of school can easily spread the virus, so please continue to follow all applicable health precautions.”

To date, Alberta Health has not requested school closings for health reasons.

School authorities can still request that an entire school temporarily switch to home study for operational reasons. The decision to move part of a school, for example a class, is at the discretion of the school authority.

Alberta’s 12,932 Active COVID-19 Variants by Region:

-Gallery Zone: 3,806 (+170)
-Edmonton Zone: 2,182 (+81)
-Central zone: 885 (+42)
-South zone: 407 (+27)
-North Zone: 894 (-9)
-Unknown: 23 (-24) # COVID19AB https://t.co/9Omzm6mnof

– Sammy Hudes (@SammyHudes) April 14, 2021

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“We appreciate that the government has responded to our concerns. The biggest impact from COVID-19 cases was in grades 7-12 schools, ”said Marilyn Dennis, Chair of the Calgary Board of Education.

“By putting these students online, you can ensure continuity of learning, address operational issues, and promote the health and wellbeing of CBE students, staff, and the Calgary community.”

In a note to parents, the CBE said that face-to-face tuition would resume on May 3, “but this could be extended.”

“The learning expectations will be the same as when these students went online before and after the winter break,” it says.

“There will be no change for 6th grade students in kindergarten. These students will continue to attend classes in person in their schools. “

Families of students in specialty classes or who need special assistance will be contacted by their school principal to determine if their classes are being moved online or if they are continuing in person.

Mary Martin, President of the Calgary Catholic School District, said that face-to-face learning is always preferred: “The safety of our staff and students must always be a priority and temporarily switched to an online format for our 7th through 12th students will support their health .

“Recognizing that in addition to expanding the rapid testing program, the ability to move to an online format are good strategies to support our schools,” she said.

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  1. The exterior of the Dr.  EP Scarlett High School in Calgary on Thursday April 8, 2021.

    Calgary Junior and Senior High Students to Move to Online Learning in Rising COVID Cases

  2. Pictured is a classroom at Henry Wise Wood High School that can accommodate a cohort of up to 38 students on Friday, August 28, 2020.

    “A Recipe for an Outbreak”: Parents and health professionals question guidelines on physical distancing before school starts

  3. Auto-sampling device used for COVID-19 monitoring in wastewater.

    Calgary wastewater samples show a recent surge in coronavirus

  4. A vaccine will be made at Clifton Manor in Calgary on January 26, 2021.

    Doctor’s offices in Alberta are dispensing COVID-19 vaccines as part of a new pilot program

NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman said the decision to send middle school students home would create “stress and frustration for families.”

“I respect the decisions of these bodies to take steps to keep their students, employees and families safe,” said Hoffman.

“(Premier Jason Kenney) has failed to provide Alberta schools with the resources they need to keep classrooms safe. The reasons the UCP gave for these students moving are exactly the factors we warned them about. “

These frustrations were borne out by the students’ parents and advocates.

“The renewed closure of schools is the result of poor crisis management by this government and underfunding of schools,” said Medeana Moussa, executive director of Support Our Students.

“Students pay the price for the government’s lack of planning.”

Karin Gerritsen, a parent at Western Canada High School, said it appears that “student livelihoods are not an issue”.

“I think CBE has taken responsibility,” said Gerritsen. “Our government has clearly not made education a priority and has left the difficult decisions to the school districts.”

– With files from Eva Ferguson

shudes@postmedia.com
Twitter: @SammyHudes

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