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More than 40% of Coquitlam area schools hit with COVID-19 exposures as case counts rise

Seven schools in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam have been flagged for COVID-19 exposure, bringing to 30 the number of schools with recent exposures.
Charles Best student washes hands on first day back 2020
Coquitlam student Tyson Symons washes his hands at a washing station outside Dr. Charles Best secondary as school opens with COVID-19 safety precautions, Sept. 9. This week, early notification letters have been sent to Dr. Charles Best secondary, Gleneagle secondary, Panorama Heights elementary, Eagle Ridge elementary, Walton elementary and Castle Park elementary school.

More than 40% of School District 43 school facilities have had a COVID-19 exposure in recent days as the Tri-Cities deals with a sharp rise in cases.

Yesterday, exposure notices were sent to four Coquitlam schools and a Port Coquitlam school, while on Tuesday two Coquitlam schools and a Port Coquitlam school were flagged, bringing to 30 the number of SD43 schools being flagged for exposures.

In addition, a francophone public school and two independent schools have also been notified of of COVID-19 exposures.

Most of the exposures have taken place in the last two weeks as the Tri-Cities has seen a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. 

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, the Tri-Cities saw a drastic spike in COVID-19 cases last week as new cases outpaced nearly every other jurisdiction in Metro Vancouver.

CASE COUNT UP 147%

The weekly case count climbed to 269 from 109 during the previous week — a 147% increase in the number of cases.

The spike in cases comes amid a surge in school exposure events, which climbed to 33 across the three cities Wednesday, including a cluster at a Port Moody elementary school that forced the principal into isolation and required a neighbouring school administration to rush in to fill the void.

In what appears to be a super-spreader event at a Port Moody pub, dozens of cases appear to be linked to a recent trivia night. Other businesses hit with the virus include workers at a Port Moody Shoppers Drug Mart and two Real Canadian Superstores in Coquitlam.

The contagion has also made its way into a local hockey league: on Wednesday, the Port Moody Amateur Hockey Association revealed four of its players had tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the league to pause its season.

Fraser Health has confirmed Mountain Meadows elementary at 999 Noons Creek Dr. has had a COVID-19 cluster, which is when when in-school transmission is believed to have occurred between two or more individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who attended the same school within a 14 day period.

However, the school has not been ordered to close and Fraser Health hasn't asked classes to isolate, according to a spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the school's principal, Heather Bernie is isolating for 14 days, according to a letter to parents.

— with files from Stefan Labbé, Mario Bartel

SCHOOL EXPOSURE LIST

Here’s the list of school exposures current to Feb. 18, 2021.

PORT COQUITLAM

1. Central elementary - Feb. 2, 3, 4, 5

2. Glen elementary - Feb. 10, 11

3. Irvine elementary - Feb. 3, 4

4. Kwayhquitlum middle - Jan. 28; Feb. 1, 4, 5

5. Terry Fox secondary - Feb. 3, 4, 5

6. James Park elementary - Feb. 1, 2, 3, 4, 9

7. Leigh elementary - Feb. 8, 9,

8. Archbishop Carney (Private) - Feb. 10

9. Ecole des Pionniers (Francophone) - Feb. 8, 9, 10 

10. Maple Creek middle - Feb. 11, 12 

11. Castle Park - Feb. 12

COQUITLAM 

1. Baker Drive elementary -  Feb. 8

2. Eagle Ridge elementary - Feb. 10, 11

3. Gleneagle secondary - Feb. 8, 9,10

4. Eagle Ridge elementary - Feb. 10, 11

5. Gleneagle secondary - Feb. 8, 9,10

6. Ecole Banting - Feb. 8

7. Montgomery middle - Feb. 4, 5

8. Pinetree secondary - Feb. 5, 10

9. Panorama Heights Feb. 8, 9,10, 11

10. R.C. MacDonald elementary - Feb. 3, 4, 5, 8

11. Walton elementary - Feb. 10, 11 

12. Scott Creek - Feb. 8, 11

13. CABE - Feb. 8, 9, 10, 11

14. Winslow Learning Centre - Feb. 12

15. Our Lady of Fatima Coquitlam (Private) - Feb. 8, 9,  

16. Lord Baden Powell, Feb. 12 

17. Smiling Creek Feb. 8, 9, 10 

18. Charles Best, Feb. 12

19. Gleneagle Feb. 12

12. Panorama Heights, Feb. 11, 12

13. Eagle Ridge elementary Feb. 9

PORT MOODY 

1. Aspenwood elementary - Feb. 8, 9, 10

2. Glenayre elementary - Feb. 8, 9,10, 11, 12

3. Heritage Woods secondary - Feb. 3, 8, 9, 10,11,12

4. Mountain Meadows elementary - Feb. 4, 5, 8, 9,10, 11

5. Moody elementary - Feb. 9,10

ANMORE

1. Eagle Mountain middle school - Feb. 3, 8, 9, 10, 11

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