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Daily health checks still requested for New Westminster schools

As students return for the third school year of the pandemic era, parents are reminded to keep sick kids at home.
Sick child fever temperature
If your child has symptoms of illness, keep them home. That's the reminder from the New Westminster school district as B.C. schools return for the third pandemic-era school year.

If your child is sick, keep them home from school.

That's the simple rule of thumb New Westminster parents are being asked to follow as School District 40 students and staff return for the 2022/23 school year. 

In preparation for the third COVID-era school year, SD40 has updated its health and safety guidelines for schools. 

"Health awareness reduces the likelihood of a person with a communicable disease coming to school/work when they are infectious," the document says. "Health awareness involves a person checking their health regularly whether they (or their child) are experiencing symptoms of illness and not coming to school/work when sick, or leaving school/work when the symptoms develop."

Parents and caregivers are asked to assess their children each day to ensure they're no experiencing symptoms of illness.

The district's 80-page health and safety plan covers a wide range of protocols related to COVID-19 and other illnesses and also offers some specific guidance for students and staff on when to attend school and when to stay home.

When to stay home from school: Guidelines from New Westminster schools

  • Students and staff who experience symptoms consistent with a previously diagnosed health condition (e.g., seasonal allergies) can continue to attend school when they are experiencing these symptoms as normal. They do not require re-assessment by a health-care provider and should not be required to provide a health-care provider note. If they experience any new or unexplained symptoms, they should seek assessment by a health-care provider.
  • Students or staff may still attend school/work if a member of their household develops new symptoms of illness, provided the student/staff member has no symptoms themselves.
  • Those who have not been tested for COVID-19 but who have symptoms of COVID-19 should not enter a school building while they have symptoms. On the day they do not have symptoms, they may enter a school building without an isolation period or medical note.
  • If you have been exposed to someone who was COVID-19 positive, self-monitor for the symptoms of COVID-19; however, there is no isolation period. You can still enter school buildings during this time if you remain symptom-free and have not been ordered by public health to isolate.
  • For the full list of protocols, consult the SD40 health and safety plan online.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The New Westminster School District's health and safety guidelines direct people to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control for current information about COVID-19 symptoms. Currently, the list includes:

  • Fever or chills 
  • Cough
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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