Three Red Deer schools have reported COVID-19 outbreaks so far this fall.
A list of Alberta schools with 10 per cent absenteeism, developed by Support Our Students, includes Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools’ Holy Family School on Sept. 20, as well as Red Deer Public Schools’ Normandeau School on Sept. 21, and Mattie McCullough Elementary School on Sept. 24.
COVID-19 was identified at Holy Family School according to the list.
Bruce Buruma, community relations director with Red Deer Public Schools, confirmed COVID outbreaks at the two public schools.
Buruma said school jurisdictions must rely on parents voluntarily reporting COVID cases because there is no mandate from the province for families to report.
Since many parents still want outbreak information, COVID cases reported by families to the school district will soon be available on its website, he said.
“We would hope by the end of the week we’ll have that up. We’re currently in the development stage. It will give us a snapshot, but it won’t necessarily reflect the status at each of our schools. We do have some families (reporting), but not all families are,” Buruma said.
“We’re not being advised by Alberta Health Services if there are cases within our schools so it’s some information. It’s not all of the information, but it’s the best information we can provide.”
He said the school district recognizes fourth COVID wave is a concern and it will just keep doing its best to keep schools healthy, clean and safe for students and staff.
Elsewhere in central Alberta, notices of a respiratory illness outbreaks have been reported at Bluffton School, Clive School, Eckville Elementary School, Penhold Elementary School and Gus Wetter School in Castor.
COVID outbreaks were reported at Penhold Crossing Secondary School, Ponoka Elementary School, Bentley School, Rimbey Elementary School, Bashaw School, Innisfail High School, Ecole James S McCormick School in Lacombe, and Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus in Blackfalds.
High absenteeism was recently at CP Blakely Elementary School and Ecole Fox Run School in Sylvan Lake, while Ecole Steffie Woima Elementary School and Ecole Mother Teresa Catholic School, also in Sylvan Lake, reported COVID outbreaks.
Students at West Central High School in Rocky Mountain House temporarily resumed online schooling, as well as Donalda School.