Four more Tri-City schools — two in Coquitlam and two in Port Coquitlam — have been marked with a COVID-19 exposure, while new dates were added to two other institutions.
Fraser Health says students and staff at all six educational facilities may have come into contact with someone who recently tested positive for the virus between Oct. 4 and 8.
Under School District 43's (SD43) list in the regional authority, Banting (Oct. 7-8) and Minnekhada middle schools (Oct. 4-8) were added for the first time during the 2021-22 calendar year, while Dr. Charles Best Secondary and Bramblewood Elementary were additional notices for potential exposures to COVID-19 — Oct. 4-8 and Oct. 7 respectively.
Two independent schools were included in the latest update, both with single-date exposure alerts: Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary for Oct. 6 and Cascade Christian for Oct. 7.
Archbishop Carney was one of two Coquitlam-area schools detected for a variant of the virus in the spring, forcing the school to suspend its in-person classes for three weeks.
In total, there are 13 regional schools on Fraser Health's school exposure list.
Regardless, if a Tri-City student or staff member tests positive for the virus, public health says it follows rigorous steps as outlined below:
- Public health will investigate to determine if there were any potential close contacts within the school
- If it is determined that there are close contacts within the school, public health will notify the school administrators and request information to assist with contact tracing and provide guidance on what steps should be taken
- Public health may then:
- Recommend 14-day self-isolation if necessary
- Recommend self-monitoring for symptoms if necessary
- Provide follow-up recommendations if necessary
- Schools will ensure students who are required to self-isolate are able to continue their educational program. Together, schools and public health officials will determine if any other actions are necessary
- Parents, caregivers and families will be notified by public health if their child is determined to be a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person
Fraser Health adds if you don't receive a phone call or letter from public health, children can continue to go to school but they should also be monitored for COVID-19 symptoms daily.
COVID-19 SCHOOL EXPOSURES
- Traditional Learning Academy: Sept. 21-24, 27 and Oct. 5
- Bramblewood Elementary: Oct. 4-5, 7
- Cascade Christian School: Oct. 7
- Ecole Banting Middle: Oct. 7-8
- Ecole Dr. Charles Best Secondary: Sept. 22-24, 27-29 and Oct. 1, 4-8
- Hillcrest Middle: Oct. 1
- Parkland Elementary: Oct. 1
- Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary: Oct. 6
- British Columbia Christian Academy: Sept. 21-24 and Oct. 1
- Birchland Elementary: Oct. 4-6
- Ecole Maple Creek Middle: Oct. 1
- James Park Elementary: Sept. 27-29, Oct. 1, 4-7
- Minnekhada Middle: Oct. 4-8
LOCAL HEALTH CASES
Confirmed cases appear to be on the downward trend for the first time in one month for the Tri-Cities.
The latest Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Local Health Area of Case Residence data showed 127 infections were detected between Oct. 3 and 9.
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) says this is a nine per cent drop compared to the previous count of 139 (Sept. 26-Oct. 2).
The Tri-Cities has also eclipsed an 85 per cent double-vaccination rate among eligible residents aged 12 years and older between Oct. 5 and 11, and 90 per cent for single vaccinations.
- with a file from Jess Balzer, Burnaby NOW