British Columbia

Fraser Health launches COVID-19 school exposures website outlining known events

Fraser Health has launched a website to track COVID-19 cases in schools as they occur throughout the region.

District is reporting exposure events in 6 schools in Surrey and Delta

Eleven school districs in the Fraser Valley are making COVID-19 exposure information available to parents, students and teachers through an online portal. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Fraser Health has launched a website to track COVID-19 cases in schools as they occur throughout the region.

Eleven school districts in the Fraser Valley will make exposure information available to parents, teachers, and students through on online portal.

Parents will be notified of positive cases, contact tracing and safety measures schools with exposure events are taking. It will also include a list of outbreaks, should they occur.

So far, there are no known outbreaks, however, as of Wednesday afternoon, there have been exposure events at the following schools:

  • Khalsa School (Old Yale Road location, Surrey).
  • Johnston Heights Secondary, Surrey.
  • Panorama Ridge Secondary, Surrey.
  • Sullivan Heights Secondary, Surrey.
  • William Watson Elementary, Surrey.
  • Delta Secondary.

A school exposure occurs when a single person confirmed to have COVID-19 attends school during their infectious period, according to Fraser Health. An outbreak is when COVID-19 is confirmed in multiple people and transmission is likely widespread within the school.

Health officials say parents are notified immediately when there is a positive case. They are also informed of contact tracing and safety measures schools with exposure events are taking.

If you do not receive a phone call or letter from public health, your child should continue to attend school, according to the FHA.

Making information public

Other health authorities are also expected to make exposures public, with links posted to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website, according to the province.

The Fraser Health Authority is the first to go online. The school districts that fall under the Fraser Health region are:

  • Abbotsford (SD 34).
  • Burnaby (SD 41).
  • Coquitlam (SD 43).
  • Chilliwack (SD 33).
  • Delta (SD 37).
  • Fraser Cascade (SD 78).
  • Langley (SD 35).
  • Maple Ridge (SD 42).
  • Mission (SD 75).
  • New Westminster (SD 40).
  • Surrey (SD 36).

Close contacts of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 will be warned of a potential transmission, the health authority says. However, an exposure event does not mean all students attending the school have been exposed.

Over half a million children, teachers, educators and support workers, head back to class in B.C. in September in the midst of a global pandemic. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"We're doing this in an effort to be as transparent as possible, and to support parents in providing them with the information that they need to make safe choices for their children," said Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin, interim chief medical health officer at Fraser Health.

Brodkin said making the information public is also a way to combat misinformation circulating on social media.

"We found that being transparent and upfront with this information really helps to reduce anxiety," she added.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly said a COVID-19 school outbreak is when there is at least one identified positive case within the school. In fact, an outbreak is when COVID-19 is confirmed in multiple people and transmission is likely widespread within the school.
    Sep 28, 2020 9:59 PM PT

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