Several more COVID-19 exposures reported in B.C. schools

Click to play video: 'Concerns around COVID-19 positive cases in B.C. schools'
Concerns around COVID-19 positive cases in B.C. schools
Concerns around COVID-19 positive cases in B.C. schools – Sep 17, 2020

Several additional COVID-19 exposures have been reported at schools in British Columbia.

The Northern Health Authority has added two schools to its exposure list: Quesnel Junior Secondary School and Ecole Frank Ross Elementary in Dawson Creek.

Exposures at both schools occurred on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, but the health authority stressed that the notices did not mean that individual children had been exposed to the virus.

Surrey School Superintendent Jordan Tinney said Saturday evening there have two more school exposures in SD36.

The first is a second COVID-19 contact at Ecole Panorama Ridge Secondary.

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Tinney said this contact is not linked to the first contact reported earlier.

The second school is Tamanawis Secondary.

The person who tested positive for COVID-19 was at the school for four days last week: Sept. 14, 15, 16, and 17.

On Sunday, Tinney said a person who tested positive was at L.A. Matheson Secondary on Sept. 14, 15, and 16.

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Tinney also announced an exposure at Queen Elizabeth Secondary on Sept. 14.

Parents of students at West Vancouver’s Sentinel Secondary School also received a letter Saturday about a recent COVID-19 case.

“A member of our school community has tested positive for COVID-19,” wrote principal Michael Finch, adding, “we are working with Vancouver Coastal Health to determine if there is any potential exposure to other members of our school community or if any additional steps are required.”

The letter said if anyone was exposed they would be contacted directly.

Click to play video: 'Fraser Health launches a website to track COVID-19 cases in schools'
Fraser Health launches a website to track COVID-19 cases in schools

Richmond’s R.A. McMath Secondary School also reportedly sent a letter to parents on Friday which included notification of a possible exposure.

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“I want to let you know that there has been an exposure in our school community,” states the letter, a portion of which was posted to social media by former Vancouver School Board chair Patti Bacchus.

“Vancouver Coastal Health has worked with us to identify close contacts and those people have been asked to self-isolate.”

The letter adds that there is “no evidence to suggest there has been any exposure” to the wider staff or student body, and that affected areas of the school have been deep cleaned.

A spokesperson for the Richmond School District referred all questions to Vancouver Coastal Health.

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Neither of the latter schools, both of which are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, appeared on the health authority’s school exposure website.

“Information about cases and contacts is confidential,” said a spokesperson for the health authority, adding that exposures would be added to the website “when appropriate.”

The provincial government has committed to ensuring all school exposures are posted online by their regional health authorities.

Click to play video: 'Dr. Henry lays out rules for B.C. school COVID-19 outbreaks'
Dr. Henry lays out rules for B.C. school COVID-19 outbreaks

As of Thursday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said despite several cases being identified at B.C. schools, no exposure to date had been “high risk” and that all affected parties had been notified.

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The latest cases join a growing list of COVID-19 exposures in B.C. schools.

The Fraser Health Authority has reported 13 exposures, 10 of them in Surrey, one in Delta and two at private schools.

The Interior Health Authority has reported a single exposure at a Castlegar high school.

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