Coronavirus spreads among Kelowna school population, 4 more exposures announced

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Dr. Bonnie Henry urges community members to do their part in ensuring schools remain open'
Coronavirus: Dr. Bonnie Henry urges community members to do their part in ensuring schools remain open
The number of COVID cases is growing at schools across Kelowna. But despite more exposures, Interior Health and the district's superintendent maintain local schools are still very safe with stringent safety measures in place. – Nov 9, 2020

The novel coronavirus continues to spread among schools in the Central Okanagan.

On Sunday, Central Okanagan Public Schools announced a new confirmed case of COVID-19 connected to the École Dr. Knox Middle School.

The person who tested positive for the virus is said to be quarantining at home as Interior Health (IH) performs contact tracing.

“The safety and well-being of students, families, and staff remains our highest priority,” stated a news release from SD 23.

The school district announced additional cases of COVID-19 involving members of the Kelowna Secondary School (KSS) community.

Story continues below advertisement

Interior Health confirmed there are 4 new cases at KSS, and the individuals were infectious while at the school on Nov. 2, 3 and 4.

“The health authority confirmed these cases are related to social interactions outside of the school environment and they are not related to any previously identified cases from Kelowna Secondary School,” the release said.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Okanagan school districts grade back-to-school success'
Coronavirus: Okanagan school districts grade back-to-school success

That brings the total to seven coronavirus cases linked to Kelowna Secondary, as of Nov. 8.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

On Sunday, the school district announced an exposure event at Glenrosa Middle School in West Kelowna.

One person connected to the school has tested positive for the virus and is self-isolating at home, SD 23 said.

Story continues below advertisement

“The individual was present on the school campus on November 2 and 3,” said a letter to Glenrosa families. 

“They did not have any symptoms at that time; they became sick following school activities and sought testing immediately.”

A COVID-19 case has also been confirmed at Rose Valley Elementary School in West Kelowna.

The person is self-isolating at home.

A letter to parents did not reveal any exposure dates and no more information will be released, the district says, due to privacy.

Story continues below advertisement

The school district and health authority will not publicly reveal if those sick are students, teachers or administrators.

Eight schools in the Kelowna, B.C., area have experienced coronavirus exposures in October and early November.

They include KSS, Glenrosa Middle School, Rose Valley Elementary, École KLO Middle School, Springvalley Elementary school, Okanagan Mission Secondary School, École de l’Anse-au-sable and St. Joseph Elementary School.

Click to play video: 'Vernon high school notified about possible coronavirus exposure'
Vernon high school notified about possible coronavirus exposure

On Nov. 5, the COVID-19 outbreak at École de l’Anse-au-sable was declared over.

The outbreak, involving at least 15 cases, forced the closure of the entire school for 10 days.

Health officials said 160 members of the school community may have been exposed to the virus and self-isolated, prompting staffing shortages.

Story continues below advertisement

“We know this is a challenging time for parents and children alike, and we remind everyone to carefully consider any plans, parties or sleepovers for children as these activities could lead to other school exposures,” said Interior Health chief medical health officer, Dr. Albert de Villiers.

Our public health teams continue to urge everyone to keep their social contacts small. Help us keep schools open and COVID-19 cases down among youth so children can continue with in-class learning,” he said.

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 test data, there are 115 active cases in the Interior Health region.

School exposures are posted to the Interior Health website here.

Sponsored content