Unvaccinated Alberta students told to stay home if household member gets COVID-19
Alberta Health is now recommending unvaccinated kids with a close COVID-19 contact in their household stay home from school for two weeks.
An update to the province’s “COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist” for children under 18 now shows that if a child is not fully immunized and has been a household contact of a positive case in the last two weeks, the “child should stay home and NOT attend school, childcare, and/or other activities for 14 days from the last day of exposure and monitor for symptoms."
The province stopped legally requiring close contacts of positive cases to quarantine back in July. But on Thursday afternoon, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the change to the checklist reflects the province’s strong recommendation that unvaccinated household contacts still isolate for two weeks.
“This is because living in the same home as someone with COVID puts you at the highest risk of becoming infected and further spreading the virus to others.” Dr. Hinshaw said.
“To be clear, this is household close contacts only - not other close contacts such as classmates in school or a workplace. There are other health measures already in place for these settings, such as distancing, masking, and a working from home policy for workplaces.”
No COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in Canada for use in children under 12. Dr. Hinshaw says she realizes this may impact schools and inconvenience families, but the province still strongly recommends close contacts not protected by two doses of vaccine stay home for two weeks if there is an exposure within the household.