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Port Coquitlam high school flagged over COVID-19 exposure

Riverside secondary is the 23rd school in Fraser Health to have reported a COVID-19 exposure.
Riverside secondary in Port Coquitlam
Riverside secondary in Port Coquitlam

A Port Coquitlam high school has been flagged as School District 43's first publicly-acknowledged COVID-19 exposure. 

The exposure occurred Sept. 18 at Riverside secondary, according to a listing posted to Fraser Health’s school exposure portal Wednesday.

In a COVID-19 early notification letter sent to parents by Fraser Health and circulating on social media, the health authority notes it has initiated contact tracing to identify staff and students that need to self-isolate or monitor for symptoms.

“This letter is to provide early notification of a confirmed COVID-19 individual at your school,” noted a letter shared to Twitter.

At this point, it’s not clear how many people at the school were exposed, whether they were students or staff nor if the exposure has affected the school’s operations. 

Riverside is the 23rd school in Fraser Health to have reported a COVID-19 exposure. 

While the health authority appears to be providing regular updates on school exposures, not all health authorities are on board. 

The deputy chief medical health officer of neighbouring Vancouver Coastal Health said today that it disagrees with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's stance on providing updates on all known exposures at schools. 

Dr. Mark Lysyshyn cited concerns that students and staff could be subject to stigma should a public exposure notification reveal their identity. 

“We know she said those things, but we don't think it's consistent with our duties as the custodian of information collected under the Public Health Act,” said Dr. Mark Lysyshyn. “And so that's why we're not doing it.”

More to come…