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Coquitlam area COVID-19 school exposures spiked more than 360% last month

February was the worst month for COVID-19 exposures in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody schools, since the school year began in September, according to recent statistics
Dr. Charles Best 1
Dr. Charles Best secondary teacher Megan Leslie arrives early on the first day of school of the 2020 fall semester. Only one school in September had a COVID-19 exposure. But in February, 2021, there were more than 100 in School District 43 schools.

February was the worst month for COVID-19 exposures in Coquitlam area public schools since classes re-started in the fall of 2020, according to reports of exposures in School District 43 locations.

September through December saw fewer school exposures (95) than the entire month of February (103), and between January and February COVID-19 exposures spiked 368%.

According to exposure reports presented at board meetings, there was just one exposure in September, but numbers quickly ramped up in October with 28. Exposures held steady in November and December, each with 33, before dipping to 22 exposures notifications in January after winter break.

That trend ended in February, when at least 103 school exposures were flagged at SD43 schools, including those reported by SD43 (78) to Feb. 23 and at least 25 exposures notices flagged for SD43 schools on Fraser Health's school exposure website.

(Some schools had more than one exposure notice so the number could be larger than 25, but for this story exposure dates added since Feb. 22 are included.)

While there are only 70 schools located within SD43’s boundaries —  which includes Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra — some schools had multiple exposure dates and letters for test positive cases, raising the total exposures above 100.

Despite the elevated numbers, school officials stated in a report presented at a board of education meeting this week that SD43 facilities “have proved to be safe, supervised, and controlled environments and school exposures are a reflection of what is happening in the community.”

No schools were shut down due to COVID-19, but at least one class had to isolate for 14 days and a cluster was identified at Scott Creek middle school in Coquitlam. And at Maple Creek middle school, also in Coquitlam, a variant of concern has identified and isolated. 

Meanwhile, Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School, an independent Catholic school in Port Coquitlam but not under public school jurisdiction, has shuttered its doors for three weeks as it works to contain a ‘variant of concern.’ 

Here are the schools under active investigation current to March 5:

PORT COQUITLAM

1. Archbishop Carney (Independent) - Feb. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26; March 1

2. Mary Hill elementary - Feb. 19, 22

3. Pitt River middle school -  24, 25

4. Maintenance Department - Feb. 22, 23, and 24.

5. Maple Creek middle school Feb. 23 

6. Irvine elementary - Feb. 23, 24,25

7. Kwayhquitlum - Feb. 23, 24, 25

8. Riverside secondary - Feb. 24

9. Citadel middle - Feb 23 

10. Hampton Park - Feb. 25

11. Leigh elementary - March 1

12. Terry Fox secondary - Feb. 25

13. Tag Gymnastics - Feb. 19

14. Kilmer elementary - Feb. 24

14. Queen of All Saints (independent) - Feb. 19

 

COQUITLAM 

1. Gleneagle secondary - Feb. 19, 22

2. Scott Creek middle - Feb. 22, 23, 24,25

3. Walton elementary - Feb. 19, 24 

5. Como Lake middle - Feb. 23, 24, 25

6. Riverview Park elementary - Feb.19, 22, 23

7. Encompass Grades 10-12, Feb. 23

8. Mundy Road elementary - Feb. 24

9. Roy Stibbs elementary - Feb. 25

10. Hampton Park elementary - Feb. 25

 

PORT MOODY 

1. Glenayre elementary - Feb. 23, 24, 25

2. Heritage Woods secondary - Feb. 19, 22, 23, 24, 25

3. Moody Schools of the Arts - Feb. 23, 24

4. Port Moody secondary - Feb. 24 

5. Moody elementary - Feb. 24

 

ANMORE

1. Eagle Mountain middle - Feb. 25

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