British Columbia

Risk of COVID-19 transmission at schools remains low, Coastal Health data shows

90 per cent of positive cases among students and staff have not resulted in any school-based transmission, while a vast majority were contracted either at home or in social settings outside of schools.

Around 700 of region's 100,000 students or staff have tested positive, health authority says

Vancouver Coastal Health says COVID-19 transmission among school-aged children remains low due to enhanced controls and safety measures. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Long-awaited data from Vancouver Coastal Health authorities shows that transmission of COVID-19 among children at school remains low.

According to the data from the health authority released Thursday, COVID-19 transmission in children between the ages of five to 17 has accounted for just six per cent of the health region's positive cases, despite representing 10 per cent of region's population.

Numbers gathered between Sept. 10 and Dec. 18 show approximately 700 of the region's 100,000 students or staff have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

It also shows that 90 per cent of those cases have not resulted in any school-based transmission, and that a vast majority of them were contracted either at home, or in social settings outside of schools.

Low numbers across B.C.

In late December, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the data showed school-aged children represented about 12 per cent of B.C.'s COVID-19 caseload at that time.

Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 18, there were 526 exposure events in B.C. schools, the vast majority of which were in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions.

About three-quarters of COVID-19 cases in schools during that period had been in students, while the rest were in staff.

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