More COVID-19 school exposures announced in more Southern Interior cities | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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More COVID-19 school exposures announced in more Southern Interior cities

January 16, 2021 - 7:00 PM

In the two weeks since school got back underway, the number of school exposures has grown

Central Okanagan Public Schools announced three new COVID-19 exposures Saturday, adding Springvalley Elementary, South Rutland Elementary and Mount Boucherie Secondary to the list, according to a press release issued by Central Okanagan Public Schools.

Within the last two weeks, potential exposures have been reported at eight Central Okanagan schools, including Kelowna Secondary on Jan. 4,5, and 7, Rutland Secondary, Jan. 4 and 11, Okanagan Mission Secondary, Jan. 7-8, Hudson Road Elementary, Jan. 5-8, Spring Valley Elementary, Jan 11-12, Glenrosa Middle, Jan. 7-8, Mount Boucherie Secondary, Jan. 5, 7, 8, 11-14  and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Elementary School, Jan. 7-8, according to Interior Health.

Those with COVID-19 are self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams. Interior Health follows up with anyone potentially exposed to a confirmed case directly through contact tracing, according to Central Okanagan Public Schools.

In the Shuswap, two exposures were reported at Parkview Elementary School Jan. 6 in Sicamous and South Canoe Elementary in Salmon Arm 6-8 and 11-12.

Two exposures were also reported in Vernon at Hillside Elementary, Jan. 4-5 and at W.L. Seaton, Jan. 4-5.

In the South Okanagan, Princess Margaret Secondary School had an exposure Jan. 4-6 in Penticton.

Kamloops had two exposures at South Kamloops Secondary, Jan. 7-8 and at Arthur Hatton Elementary, Jan. 4-8. Barriere Barriere Secondary had an exposure Jan. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Merritt had a school exposure Jan. 6-7 at Merritt Secondary School.

Golden, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Horsefly and Alkali Lake have also had exposures. Most of these schools had never had an exposure before the Christmas break.

READ MORE: Okanagan teachers burnt out before Christmas, still nervous for what's to come

If a student or teacher receives a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, the health authority starts contact tracing to determine how the person was infected and who they were in close contact with. They then identify and notify close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advise them to self isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

Toward the end of December, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said between Nov. 1 and Dec. 18, there were 526 exposure events in B.C. schools.

Like cases themselves, most of these exposures were in Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health regions.

Of recorded COVID-19 cases, three-quarters in schools were among students, while the rest were in staff. Dr. Henry said only 10 per cent of the exposure events led to transmission within the school environment and most transmission events involve staff members to each other.


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