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Variant hits Coquitlam area schools amid 23 active COVID-19 investigations

Here's where COVID-19 is tracking now in the Tri-Cities as schools hit with multiple dates and a kids' gymnastic facility and a school maintenance yard are flagged for coronavirus
Fraser health testing site
While there are fewer school COVID-19 exposures flagged this week in Tri-City schools, Fraser Health has been dealing with variants of concern at Surrey schools and is encouraging people to get tested even if they feel only mild symptoms.

An elementary school that has remained COVID-19 free since September, 2020 is now on the list of Coquitlam schools with confirmed cases.

As of Tuesday, March 2, letters had gone out to six more schools and additional dates added to others currently on Fraser Health’s list of exposed schools.

Riverview Park, located at 700 Clearwater Way, Coquitlam, recently received notice of exposures on Feb. 17, 18, 19. It is the first exposure for the elementary school.

A further date of Feb. 22 has also been added, according to a letter to parents.

Moody middle school in Port Moody has also been hit with an exposure on Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 while Walton elementary had exposure on Feb. 24, according to letters sent to parents.

Also in recent days, a Coquitlam middle school and a Port Coquitlam independent secondary school have been flagged for a variant of concern.

According to the letter sent to parents, a person with a variant type of COVID-19 was at Maple Creek middle school on Feb. 23.

A similar letter was sent to parents at Archbishop Carney saying that a person with a variant type of COVID-19 was at the school Feb. 22, 23 and 24.

The letters state that the information is a general notification “and does not mean you are your family have been exposed to variant type of COVID-19,” the letter notes. 

Meanwhile, a School District 43 maintenance department and a Port Coquitlam school for gymnastics are the latest flagged by Fraser Health for COVID-19 exposures.

Tag Gymnastics in Port Coquitlam had someone on site Feb. 19 who had tested positive for COVID-19, while the SD43 maintenance yard, also in Port Coquitlam, had a case Feb. 22, 23, 24.

These are the latest exposures flagged on the Fraser Health school COVID-19 exposure site, but the health authority’s list shows fewer schools have had COVID-19 on school grounds in recent days.

However, a Port Moody high school and a Coquitlam middle school continue to be identified as having recent COVID-19 cases on school grounds.

Scott Creek, where a cluster of cases was found and a class isolated for 14 days, had additional dates added and parents were given a letter to inform them about the exposures.

Four more dates were added to Scott Creek (Feb. 22, 23, 24, 25) according to a recent letter sent to parents. 

The new dates are in addition to previously reported dates of Feb.  16, 17, 18, and 19, and BC Covid Tracker lists the most recent exposure notice as the seventh for the Coquitlam school.

Heritage Woods secondary in Port Moody has been flagged for exposure and letters have been sent to parents for Feb.18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25.

Other schools with exposures last week include:

• Maple Creek middle school Feb. 23 

• Irvine elementary Feb. 23, 24, 25

• Kwayhquitlum Feb. 23, 24, 25

• Como Lake Feb. , 23, 24, 25

• Riverview Park Feb. 17, 18, 19

• Encompass Grades 10-12 - Feb. 23

Meanwhile, Fraser Health has been dealing with variants of concern at Surrey schools and is encouraging people to get tested even if they feel only mild symptoms.

Fraser Health confirmed Sunday that it tested at two Surrey schools where exposures to COVID-19 variants of concern occurred earlier this month and found three new variant cases.

In Surrey school district, one class at Woodward Hill is already isolating and will remain in isolation until March 4, according to Fraser Health, and two classes at Surrey Traditional will self-isolate until March 4. Both schools remain open.

Mass testing of affected classrooms was also initiated at James Ardiel elementary and Tamanawis secondary in response to a variant exposure, and no new cases were identified at either of these schools. No positive cases were found after additional testing of school-related close contacts of people found to have variants of concern.

B.C. teachers meanwhile call for stronger safety measures from provincial health officers as WorkSafeBC reports a large jump in COVID-19 claims. 

According to the BC Teachers’ Federation, New WorkSafeBC data shows a 250% increase in occupational COVID-19 infection claims in the education services sector since early December.

The ongoing school cases come as Dr. Bonnie Henry calls for continued efforts to stick to COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings and travel, including planning to stay local during the upcoming spring break, slated to take place March March 22-Apr. 2.

In the Tri-Cities, cases have remained high, according to BC Centre of Disease Control data. However, the case counts appear to be stabilizing at 269 Feb. 7-13, and 272 Feb. 14-20.

The following school exposures are current to March 2.

The following school exposures are current to March 2.

PORT COQUITLAM

1. Archbishop Carney (Private) - Feb. 16 17, 22, 23, 24

2. Glen elementary Feb. - 16, 17

3. Mary Hill elementary - Feb.17, 18, 19

4. Pitt River middle school - 16, 24

5. Children of Integrity Montessori, independent school - Feb. 16

6. Tag Gymnastics - Feb. 19

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

8. Maple Creek middle school Feb. 23 

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

10. Kwayhquitlum - Feb. 23, 24, 25

 COQUITLAM 

1. Banting middle school - Feb. 16, 17

2. Centennial - Feb. 16

3. Gleneagle secondary - Feb. 16, 19, 22

4. Scott Creek - Feb.  16, 17, 18, 19 22, 23, 24,25

5. Walton elementary - Feb. 19, 24 

6. Queen of All Saints School (Private) - Feb. 16, 17, 18, 19

7. Como Lake - Feb. 23, 24,25

8. Riverview Park - Feb. 17, 18, 19, 22

9. Encompass Grades 10-12, Feb. 23

PORT MOODY 

1. Glenayre elementary - Feb. 16, 23,  24, 25

2. Heritage Woods secondary - Feb. 18,19, 22, 23, 24, 25

3. Moody middle school - Feb. 23, 24

 

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