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Children still catching COVID outside school, not in classrooms, B.C. officials say

Click to play video: 'B.C. school COVID-19 infection update' B.C. school COVID-19 infection update
According to B.C. Health officials, the number of COVID-19 cases involving school-aged children is now falling. Richard Zussman reports. – Oct 19, 2021

B.C. health officials say COVID-19 transmission in schools has dropped since they first surged at the start of the school year.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said at the beginning of the school year, there was a dramatic increase in cases, particularly in the Interior and in Northern Health regions, but those cases have started to come down.

Click to play video: 'B.C. officials say children still catching COVID-19 outside school, not in classrooms' B.C. officials say children still catching COVID-19 outside school, not in classrooms
B.C. officials say children still catching COVID-19 outside school, not in classrooms – Oct 19, 2021

Cases still remain higher in Northern Health but it is indicative of the case counts remaining high in the communities.

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Henry added the increase of COVID-19 cases in September was “strongly associated with a significant increase in testing among children” and the biggest source of COVID infections for children remains from sources outside of the classroom.

She said in the past week, five children in the zero to four age range have been admitted to a hospital in B.C. along with one child in the five to 11 age range and one young person in the 12 to 17 age range.

No children have been admitted to the ICU.

For those who are immunized in the 12 to 17 age range, Henry said hospitalizations are much lower for this population.

Hospitalization rate of COVID-19 by vaccination status and age group in B.C. B.C. government

Read more: B.C. to end capacity limits for indoor events in most regions

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Henry said she believes masks in a school setting helped contribute to keeping the COVID transmission low, along with the increase in immunizations for 12 to 17-year-olds and staff members.

Click to play video: 'B.C. health officials set to provide Tuesday COVID-19 update' B.C. health officials set to provide Tuesday COVID-19 update
B.C. health officials set to provide Tuesday COVID-19 update – Oct 19, 2021

On Monday, Pfizer applied to Health Canada to approve its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five to 11.

Last month, Henry told reporters that the province is “actively preparing” so it will be ready to roll out the shot to children once it is approved.

Health officials are also looking to make sure parents have all of the information they would need to make a decision about whether to have their child immunized.

Health Canada is expected to take some time before the vaccine is approved for kids and the lower-dose injection may not be available in Canada until late November or early December.

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Read more: Pfizer asks Health Canada to approve COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5-11

Click to play video: 'Pfizer asks Health Canada to approve vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11' Pfizer asks Health Canada to approve vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11
Pfizer asks Health Canada to approve vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11 – Oct 19, 2021

 

On Monday, B.C. reported 1,846 new cases of COVID-19 over the past three days, along with 26 deaths.

There were 753 cases from Friday to Saturday while 650 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday, and 443 from Sunday to Monday.

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Of the new cases, 212 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 737 were in the Fraser Health region, 169 were in Island Health, 322 were in Interior Health and 406 were in Northern Health.

The number of people in hospital with the disease fell by seven to 360. Of those patients, 151 are in intensive care, a decline of one from Friday.

Read more: B.C. making flu shots free due to ‘unique circumstances’ of COVID-19

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: B.C. reports 1, 846 new cases and 26 deaths over weekend' COVID-19: B.C. reports 1, 846 new cases and 26 deaths over weekend
COVID-19: B.C. reports 1, 846 new cases and 26 deaths over weekend – Oct 18, 2021

Read more: COVID-19 — B.C. reports 26 deaths, 1,846 new cases over three days

There are 4,917 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. The province last reported fewer than 5,000 actives cases on Aug. 15.

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