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BC Centre for Disease Control to post all school-related COVID-19 cases

Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID19, elementary school students wait for classes to begin in Godley, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.
Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID19, elementary school students wait for classes to begin in Godley, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. AP Photo/LM Otero

The BC Centre for Disease Control will now notify the public about every case of COVID-19 detected in the school system, with details, following public outcry and comparisons to policies in other provinces.

Previously, school districts in B.C. notified staff and students that someone in their individual school community had tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Click to play video 'Managing COVID-19 cases in Surrey schools' Managing COVID-19 cases in Surrey schools
Managing COVID-19 cases in Surrey schools

But parents and other members of the public clamoured for more specifics, such as the date and type of exposure, similar to what happens in other jurisdictions like Ontario.

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As of Wednesday, the centre will include links to regional health authorities’ school notification pages, including additional details such as date and type of exposure, on its overall list of exposures.

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The Fraser Health notification page was already immediately available following the announcement.

Read more: Campers who attended mass gathering in B.C. asked to self-monitor for coronavirus symptoms

Officials have yet to identify any outbreaks in schools, but there are single confirmed cases at five schools in Surrey and one in Delta.

Surrey School District superintendent Jordan Tinney said he supports the further notification.

Click to play video 'Calls for more information on COVID-19 cases in B.C. schools' Calls for more information on COVID-19 cases in B.C. schools
Calls for more information on COVID-19 cases in B.C. schools

“I think transparency is really important … to build trust. But not to the point where it infringes on privacy,” Tinney said.

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“We need to protect privacy yet at the same time have the right amount of alert to the public.”