Four more schools in Kamloops have COVID-19 exposures | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Four more schools in Kamloops have COVID-19 exposures

While Interior Health continues to add Kamloops schools to its exposure alerts list, enhanced mask measures should help alleviate transmission risks.
Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
February 08, 2021 - 4:25 PM

Four schools in Kamloops have had COVID-19 exposures in the past week.

There have been exposures at Valleyview Secondary, David Thompson Elementary, Juniper Ridge Elementary and Lloyd George Elementary since Feb. 1, according to Interior Health's school exposure web page.

While other school districts in the Interior Health region are seeing less exposure dates since the post-New Years surge, Kamloops continues to see more schools added to the exposure alerts. In the rest of the region, just three schools had February exposure dates so far. Those are Dr. Knox Middle School in Kelowna, Vernon Secondary School and Summerland Secondary School.

All other schools on the list will reach the two-week time limit on exposure dates by Friday Feb. 12. Then Interior Health removes them.

READ MORE: Masks mandatory in B.C. middle and high school classrooms

Interior Health said exposure dates do not necessarily mean there is transmission within the school, and most contact tracing finds transmission occurred outside school communities.

“Schools are a reflection of our communities,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said at a press briefing on Feb. 3. “I anticipate, as we continue to have spread in our communities, we will continue to have exposures in our schools.”

Kamloops in particular appears to be seeing a rise in COVID-19 transmission.

Along with having the most schools on the current exposure alert list, the outbreak at Royal Inland Hospital has seen 92 positive cases since last reported as of Thursday, Feb. 4.

READ MORE: Surgeries postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops's Royal Inland Hospital

While many students are under self-isolation, including over 200 from Sa-Hali Secondary, many families tend to remove their child from class until alerts have timed out, regardless of contact tracing reaching their household.

So when those students are returning to class, Kamloops should see a reflection as to where COVID-19 cases in the community have been headed.

Monday, Feb. 8 kicks off the first full week since provincial health authorities implemented enhanced mask requirements within B.C. schools.

While there is no indication that more masks will mean less exposure alerts, the decreased transmission risk within school walls should alleviate anxieties for families with children in Kamloops schools.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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