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Contact tracing underway at Coquitlam private school following exposure

This is the first time the Coquitlam school has isolated a case of COVID-19.
Our Lady of Fatima School is a private, bilingual Catholic school in West Coquitlam.
Our Lady of Fatima School is a private, bilingual Catholic school in West Coquitlam.

Contact tracers are investigating two COVID-19 exposures at a Coquitlam private school after at least one individual at the facility tested positive for the SAR-CoV-2 virus.

Our Lady of Fatima School, a private Catholic and bilingual facility located at 315 Walker Street in West Coquitlam, has been flagged for exposures on Nov. 18 and 20.

In a Nov. 27 early notification letter sent to parents, Fraser Health indicates its contact tracers are investigating any links to a single positive case at the school; however, after a second date was added, it’s not clear if the same individual attended the school on both exposure dates or if a another individual has tested positive. 

A school “exposure” usually indicates a single person with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection attended school during their infectious period. But Fraser Health has indicated to the Tri-City News that an exposure can also indicate more than one positive though unlinked case. 

A school “cluster,” on the other hand, indicates possible school-based transmission with two or more lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 attending school while infectious, and an “outbreak” indicates “multiple individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection” and that “transmission is likely widespread.”

While School District 43 has been hit with dozens of exposures since reopening in September, to date, Fraser Health has not reported any cases of transmission at a Tri-City school. 

Other neighbouring districts, have not been so fortunate. On Friday, Fraser Health indicated it was shuttering Newton elementary school in Surrey after 16 cases of COVID-19 were isolated in recent days. 

The school will remain shut for two weeks “to break any chains of COVID-19 transmission that may be present at the school,” wrote the health authority in a press release.

Fraser Health school exposures:

Map by Gary McKenna/Tri-City News