Contact tracing complete for GISS COVID-19 case

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Island Health has already completed contact tracing for the member of the Gulf Islands Secondary School community who tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

GISS principal Lyall Ruehlen told the Driftwood on Wednesday morning that anyone who may have come in contact with the individual on Thursday, Nov. 26 has been notified and directed to remain in self-isolation at home. 

Ruehlen said that while Island Health determined possible exposure occurred at GISS on Thursday, the COVID-19 test occurred over the weekend and the school district was informed once the positive result identified the individual as being connected to GISS.

“We received a call at about 3:45 yesterday and [Island Health] expressed that one member of our community had tested positive over the weekend and that they would have had potential exposure [to others] on the 26th.” 

An email from the school district containing a letter from Island Health was drafted and sent out to GISS families about two hours later.

“We feel really confident about our turnaround response  . . . and the good partnership with Island Health; the support they are giving us, and how we are supporting them.” 

Ruehlen said a lot of preparation for this situation was done in August when the school and district created a start-up plan, which led to a solid rollout yesterday. 

He said a few parents advised that their children would not be attending school today. 

Ruehlen said GISS has closed its campus, meaning that students are not allowed to go to Ganges during lunch hour. Certain “learning groups” have been able to get their lunch in town on specified days since school resumed in September. 

An update will be sent to GISS families via email this afternoon, he said. 

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