Eastern Health Provides Update on Tuberculosis Investigation at High School in St. John’s
May 16, 2013 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health today provided an update on the ongoing tuberculosis (TB) investigation at Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s where a case of TB was previously confirmed in one of the students.
“The parents or guardians of all those identified as close contacts of the student diagnosed with TB have been contacted by public health officials,” said Dr. David Allison, Medical Officer of Health for Eastern Health. “The risk to students who have been identified as close contacts continues to be very low and, as such, all students should continue to attend classes as usual.”
Close contacts are those who have regular, prolonged contact with an individual diagnosed with TB. Parents or guardians of about 50 close contacts identified at this point in time have been contacted and invited to participate in an information session with Eastern Health. On May 15, 2013, Eastern Health participated in two meetings with parents or guardians of close contacts. Eastern Health also met with all of the staff at Holy Heart of Mary High School on May 14, 2013, and continues to work with the school to keep students and their families informed.
TB testing for the close contacts will begin at the Holy Heart of Mary High School on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. TB testing requires a systematic approach with the time required between testing and reading test results taking up to 72 hours. As such, this is the best date to accommodate the timeline required and any positive tests will be followed up to confirm whether or not they are associated with this exposure. It is anticipated that information on the first round of testing will be available in late May. However, final results of the testing process will not be known until after the completion of the required second round of testing, which will take place in June 2013.
Parents or guardians of children who are attending Holy Heart of Mary High School are reminded that if they have not received a phone call from public health officials regarding the TB investigation, it means that their child is not considered a close contact, and therefore not at risk. Parents or guardians seeking additional information related to the TB investigation at Holy Heart of Mary High School may contact a public health nurse at (709) 752-4358 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on week days.
Please note that parents/guardians seeking additional information related to the case of tuberculosis (TB) at Holy Heart of Mary High School may contact a public health nurse familiar with the situation at (709) 752-4358.
To date, there is no risk to students so all students should continue to attend classes as usual. The risk to the close contacts is also anticipated to be very low.
The contact tracing process requires a systematic approach to TB testing with the time required between testing and reading test results taking up to 72 hours. Testing will take place at the school on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, to accommodate the timeline required and any positive tests will be followed up to confirm whether or not they are associated with this exposure. Final results of the testing process will not be known until after the completion of the second round of testing which will occur in June 2013.
Eastern Health Medical Advisory. click here to view the entire media release.
In September 2013, Holy Heart will be offering semesterization to all students. We are very excited to be part of this program. In the next few weeks, we will be doing course selections with students and parent meetings. click here to view the document.
The Eastern School District now has all High Schools on Powerschool. This is a web-based program that allows a parents access to all aspects of the childrens educational records. Information such as grades, attendance, teacher comments, assessments, etc can all be viewed through this account.
On Wednesday, we will be sending a letter home by students that will contain YOUR username and password to access this site. Once you get this letter you can select the quick link on the side called “parent portal”. This will give you all the information on how to create the account.
If for some reason you did not receive your letter, you have to come to the school to get the account information. Information cannot be given out over the phone or via email for security reason.
The Guidance team at HHM will be using Facebook and Twitter to inform students of post-secondary information, program opportunities and scholarship information. To sign up for these social media connections please visit the quick links section on the right side of this page under Twitter and Facebook at Heart
This is a reminder that student attendance is a priority at Holy Heart. Please note that school requirement is that if a student is absent from class they are should submit a note to the office or an email from a parent to the school secretary prior to or the day after the absence. If either is not provided, we assume the student is absent without your permission and appropriate actions will be taken. We appreciate your efforts and cooperating in helping us ensure success for our students. 80% of success is being here.
Furthermore, if a student is to leave the building throughout the day they are required to sign out at the office. This ensures you are aware of the student leaving and allows us to keep accurate records of attendance in the building.
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