Six more COVID-19 cases in Kelowna school outbreak | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Six more COVID-19 cases in Kelowna school outbreak

October 23, 2020 - 4:02 PM

There have been 18 new COVID-19 cases in the Interior Health region since yesterday, including six more at École de L’Anse-au-sable in Kelowna.

That means that a total of 11 people have tested positive in the school outbreak. There are 160 people at home self-isolating, according to an Interior Health news release issued today, Oct. 23.

There has been some backlash against some of the family members of staff and students who are self-isolating. They have been turned away from some community activities, Interior Health said.

If the people who are self-isolating at home have not actually tested positive for COVID-19, their family members do not have to be isolated and can go to school and do other things outside their homes.

"These household members need to be able to continue to go about their daily lives while respecting the general public health recommendations similar to other public members," the release states. "It is crucial that our community support one another through this difficult time when our individual community members are impacted. We urge everyone to remain calm and to support people, rather than create more fear and uncertainty through discrimination and prejudice."

Earlier today, medical health officer Dr. Kamran Golmohammadi told that the cases were in the Kindergarten to Grade 3 cohort while the Grade 4 to 6 and Grade 7 to 12 cohorts were not affected.

Interior Health did not say if the disease has spread beyond the younger cohort.

The 18 new cases brings the total number of cases in the Interior Health region to 662, of which 72 are active. There are two people in hospital with one of them in intensive care.

As of this morning, Dr. Golmohammadi, who is leading Interior Health’s response to the school outbreak, said none of those infected at the school were in hospital, noting that children usually don’t get strong symptoms.

There are 325 students and about 50 staff at the school. Some of those at home isolating do have siblings who are still able to go to school.

Those who are isolating are expected to remain, as much as possible, in a room separate from other members of their families, to use a separate bathroom if possible and everyone needs to do a lot of hand washing, keeping their distance from each other and monitoring for symptoms.

Dr. Golmohammadi would not say how many of those infected were students versus staff but did say both groups were affected.

There is also an after-school program at the school that is attended by students from other schools. Dr. Golmohammadi said those groups have been kept separate all along.

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