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Coronavirus: Dates of COVID-19 outbreak at Okanagan school expanded, 11 cases now confirmed

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A coronavirus outbreak at an Okanagan school has been expanded.

According to Interior Health, the number of exposure dates at École de l’Anse-au-sable in Kelowna has doubled to six from three.

Earlier this week, the health agency announced exposure dates of Oct. 13 to 15 at the French language school. As of Friday, though, the dates now include Oct. 16, 19 and 20.

Read more: Coronavirus outbreak declared at Okanagan school with 3 positive tests; 160 told to self-isolate

In an email, Interior Health said six more school members have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 11.

“Although there has been an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, there are no new details related to the investigation to report,” said Interior Health.

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When Interior Health announced the outbreak earlier in the week, it also said 160 members of the school community were asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

On Friday, IH said those 160 are still being directed to self-isolate.

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Located on Lequime Road, École de l’Anse-au-sable isn’t part of Central Okanagan Public Schools but is part of the provincewide Conseil Scolaire Francophone, which is also known as School District 93.

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With so many people being asked to self-isolate, questions are arising on siblings and contacts of contacts.

Medical health officer Dr. Kamran Godmohammadi said Interior Health is coordinating efforts to ensure risk of COVID-19 spread is minimized, and that “when someone is exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, we consider that individual a contact and ask them to self-isolate for 14 days.”

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Godmohammadi also said “although a contact of someone with COVID-19 infection must self-isolate, the contacts of contacts do not require self-isolation.”

Interior Health said École de l’Anse-au-sable is reporting instances where family members of students and staff who are identified as contacts are being turned away from community activities.

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“All individuals identified as a contact to a confirmed case of COVID require self-isolation,” said Godmohammadi.

“However, the siblings and household members of individuals identified as a contact when no confirmed case identified in the household (also known as “contacts of contacts”) do not require self-isolation.

“These household members need to be able to continue to go about their daily lives while respecting the general public health recommendations similar to other public members.”

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Godmohammadi continued, saying “it is crucial that our community support one another through this difficult time when our individual community members are impacted. We urge everyone to remain calm and to support people, rather than create more fear and uncertainty through discrimination and prejudice.”

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