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Editorial: COVID tracing the job of health professionals

opinion editorial stock

This week both local school divisions said their staff has taken time away from the job of education to concentrate on tracking and reporting COVID cases in schools.

Foothills School Division and Christ the Redeemer have been put in an unenviable situation of collecting data through word of mouth from 39 schools. Not only is the data being shared online, but now the schools are also in charge of contact tracing, notifying parents when there has been a case reported in their child’s classroom.

However, when parents get an email about a classroom exposure, they can only get their child tested is if they display symptoms or their school is declared in an outbreak, with 10 per cent or more of students absent.

Students are also now being told to isolate if someone in their home has COVID. That means they are missing out on school or their teacher is working both at school and providing work for them at home.

To put it into perspective, the Foothills School Division has said the cost of dealing with COVID is $250,000, which is coming out of their own coffers.

Jason Kenney’s ‘best summer ever’ has turned into the worst fall ever for teachers, principals and school division administration. The provincial government’s lack of preparedness for this school year cannot be justified.

Not only are students now more susceptible than ever to COVID as numbers soar, those overseeing their education are busy dealing with collecting health data.

The Province needs to provide support to schools through funding and manpower as soon as possible and let educators get back to the job of educating.

The last school year was stressful enough.