Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab is again pointing out that children who present at school with COVID are primarily coming from households where the adults are unvaccinated. He is also reminding that under the public health order, if there is a single case in a household, the child cannot attend school.

“The vast majority of cases in schools are single cases that come from households that have had COVID, and now under the public health order, if you have a single case in a household, a child cannot go to school or attend daycare.”

In Lloydminster, for the period September 28 – October 11, the SHA website shows that 3 Lloydminster schools are listed as having an outbreak, for a total of eight cases overall.

Shahab was speaking as the PEOC and Saskatchewan health officials updated the province following last week’s announcement for a coordinated COVID provincial response team.

He remained hopeful that with the additional precautions in schools like mandatory masks and high vaccination rates among staff that they could curb the spread. But he said about one-third of COVID cases in the 5-11 year-old age group come from households with unvaccinated people who are eligible to be vaccinated.

Shahab encourages a high vaccination rate in adults and for parents to get their younger kids immunized when Health Canada approves the shot for 5-11 year olds.

“The most important thing we can do to prevent cases in schools is a high vaccination rate in parents, siblings and staff; right now, immediately. And of course, we should all be ready to vaccinate our children 5-11 (years old), November onwards, because we are looking forward to Health Canada approving and providing vaccines to children 5-11 by November.”

Shahab added while they have seen outbreaks at schools and daycares with transmission among kids, the vast majority of children with COVID are still due to close contact in households with unvaccinated people who are eligible for the vaccine.

“Occasionally, we do see outbreaks in school settings and in daycares and unfortunately, children under 11 years can’t be vaccinated. But the biggest predictor of cases in schools is the vaccination status of staff and households from which children come to schools and daycare.”