Potential COVID-19 school exposures recorded in three biggest Okanagan cities | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Potential COVID-19 school exposures recorded in three biggest Okanagan cities

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January 10, 2021 - 11:33 AM

It's been one week since school got underway again across the Southern Interior and exposure alerts have already started to come in.

In the Okanagan, there have already been seven schools with exposure alerts.

In Vernon, Hillview Elementary had a potential exposure Jan. 4 and 5. There was also a potential exposure at W.L. Seaton, Jan. 4 and 5.

In Kelowna, Rutland Secondary had a potential exposure Jan. 4 and École Kelowna Secondary School had exposures Jan. 4, 5, and 7 and Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary also had exposures, the school district announced Sunday, Jan. 10.

In Penticton, Princess Margaret Secondary School had potential exposures on Jan. 4, 5, and 6.

While each of these cities has had school exposure notices before, the Interior Health region has also reported on some less frequently mentioned cities facing potential exposures.

In 100 Mile House, Peter Skene Ogden Secondary had a potential exposure alert for Jan. 4, and 5, and Lady Grey Elementary in Golden had a potential exposure on Jan.4 and 5.

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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