Oliver Elementary is the first in the South Okanagan this school year to have multiple COVID exposures.
Potential COVID exposures have been documented on Sept. 14, 15, 16, 17 and 20.
There were no other COVID exposures reported in SD67 as of Sept. 29, according to the newly posted Interior Health’s exposure list.
The only reason the cases at Oliver Elementary are known to the public is that the province did an about-face about reporting school exposures after parents were upset about having the information hidden while cases continue to rise in schools.
The province began posting “potential exposure events” in schools online once again starting Tuesday (Sept. 28).
That update came from a COVID-19 update from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix after parents had expressed concerns that B.C. did not plan to post exposures online.
However, letters will not be sent out widely. Families who need to take additional measures after potential exposure will be contacted directly.
A presentation from the province stated that the school and dates of the exposure will be posted if “a person (staff or student) attended school while infectious, and there is an increased risk of COVID-19 to the groups they were a part of. For most instances, this will be their classroom(s).”
The update comes as cases have risen sharply in school-aged children. There were 658 new cases in children ages five to 11 last week – out of a total of 10,412 since the pandemic began – and 261 in teens ages 12 to 17 – out of a total of 11,056 since the pandemic started.
At least two Christian schools in the Lower Mainland have gone to remote learning after clusters of COVID. In one school, there were 32 cases of staff and students with COVID.
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