Three people have now tested positive for COVID-19 at Kelowna school; outbreak declared | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Three people have now tested positive for COVID-19 at Kelowna school; outbreak declared

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
Image Credit: Submitted/Province of B.C.
October 21, 2020 - 4:00 PM

The COVID-19 exposure event at a Kelowna school announced yesterday has now been declared an outbreak by public health officials.

Three people have now tested positive for COVID-19 at École de l'Anse-au-sable in Kelowna, according to a joint statement issued by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and deputy minister of health Stephen Brown today, Oct. 21. Three members of the “school community” have tested positive.

“Public health teams have directed a further approximately 160 members of the school community to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms,” the statement reads.

Interior Health said in a separate media release the exposure occurred "after members of the school community mixed with select cohorts and one another, while others mixed during a break."

The people who are self-isolating were "physically and administratively separate from the rest of the school community," Interior Health said. Medical health officers are supporting school administrators, staff, students and families.

With 203 new cases in B.C., the provincial total is now at 12,057. 

There is a total of 632 cases in the Interior Health region, an increase of eight from yesterday. Two people are in hospital with one in the ICU.

"Many of the new cases and recent community clusters of COVID-19 are directly connected to weddings, funerals and celebrations of life - times when we traditionally gather with family and friends,” the statement reads. "With COVID-19 still in our communities, we have seen that even small gatherings are risky right now. Inside or outside, large space or small, the fewer the faces the better.

"A wedding is meant to be a time of celebration, yet weddings and other important life occasions are a significant source of community transmission; transmission that has spread to health-care facilities, workplaces and schools.”

There have also been two new deaths in the last 24 hours, meaning 256 people have died from the virus. There have also been outbreaks in three more Lower Mainland long-term care homes.

Since the start of the pandemic in January there have been 6,517 cases in the Fraser Health region, 4,215 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 244 in the Vancouver Island Health region, 361 in the Northern Health region and 88 amongst foreign residents.

There are 70 people in hospital, 21 of whom are in intensive care, 1,766 active cases, 4,294 people being actively monitored and 9,993 who have recovered.

— This story was updated at 4:35 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 with new information from Interior Health.

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