Braid: Shandro promises full disclose on school COVID-19 cases in new website

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But within a few days, Shandro says, the government will start naming schools with not just two cases, but also a single case, as long as there is risk of wider infection.

“If there’s no chance of transmission at the school, if the person didn’t even go to the school. I don’t think that’s a situation that has to be reported,” the minister said.

“But if there’s a student or staff member who who has come to school infectious, it has to be reported, And I agree, just one case.”

That single-case reporting will start on the website as soon as final details are worked out with Dr. Hinshaw, he said. That should happen within days.

Shandro said the government reporting on cases levels within municipalities “really brought down a lot of the anxiety, a lot of the tension.”

“I just thought we could do the same thing for schools. And so I asked the ministry to do  similar tool for the school level.

A COVID-19 case has been reported at St. Francis High School in Calgary. Photo by Brendan Miller/Postmedia

My column decrying the fact thatan independent website releases more information than the government may or may not have anything to do with the timing. The government website was obviously in planning for some time, although Hinshaw only hinted at details Tuesday.

The website had reported 31 school cases by early afternoon Wednesday. Based on letters to parents and other sources, the list includes some situations where transmissions were unlikely.

But still, the website was useful to parents and perhaps even goaded the government into quicker action.

As I’ve tried to point out, trust was at stake if the government appeared to be keeping quiet about cases that were already online and exploding on social media.

Shandro is taking a positive step here. And he’s certainly right — parents will be relieved to get accurate official information about what’s going on in their kids’ schools.

More to come after Hinshaw’s announcement this afternoon . . .

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

Twitter: @DonBraid

Facebook: Don Braid Politics

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