Three of the Barnaby schools – two public and one private – have been damaged by recent COVID-19 exposures.
Two schools looked at cases of teenage students (Byrne Creek Community School and St. Thomas More Collegiate), and one elementary school (kitchen) had someone infected with COVID-19 every day last week.
- Kitchener – Parents at Kitchener Elementary School have been notified that they will be in school from October 26 to 30. Fraser Health instructed parents to send their children to school and to continue monitoring for COVID symptoms when contacted by the health authority. Tracers work to identify staff or students who need self-isolation or self-monitoring for symptoms. Only those who have been exposed directly to COVID-19 at school will be contacted by Public Health, according to the notice. In addition to the Fraser Health letter, Kitchener’s parents received a notice from Principal Dino Clarich that, due to privacy reasons, the school was unable to provide further information about the infected person, except to say that they were isolating themselves at home with Fraser Health assistance. .
- St. Thomas More Collegiate – A notice was posted on the website of the private St. Thomas More Collegiate School in Barnaby on November 4 confirming that one student had Fraser Health COVID-19. “At this point, the return date for that self-monitoring will begin next ministry (week 17th of November)” read the website posting. According to the public health policy, the Fraser Health Authority will contact others who may be exposed and advise us on necessary actions. We follow the protocols prescribed by the public health authorities and advise you on any updates. School activities continue with a single focus on safety. ”
- Byrne Creek – Parents of Byrne Creek Community School received notices about an exposure at the school on October 19 and then another letter on October 26 about an exposure at the school.
However, in a teleconference on Wednesday, Dr. Elizabeth Bradkin, chief medical health officer at Fraser Health, said schools were “relatively safe places to plan things.”
“We saw a lot of important exposures in our schools, but the exposures and very few of them led to the broadcast,” she said.
As for the timing of notifying those who have been exposed, Bradkin said the case could vary “significantly”.
“From the time the case is symptomatic until the time the case goes and is tested, it will actually take several days for us to receive the results,” she said. “Then we have to interview the case and make sure they do what they do and from there we go to identify the contacts. So this process is sometimes very easy and very quick but at other times it can be very difficult and complicated because the telephone numbers we have for contacts may be wrong, Probably due to language barriers or the stigma associated with infection, some people don’t want to be found. ”
Fraser Health CEO Dr Victoria Lee said it is important to remember that people who become infected with COVID are “not immediately infected.”
“The virus takes time to incubate, five to nine days before a person becomes infected,” she says.
- With files from Cornelia Noyler