North Shore schools have been hit with a rash of COVID exposure warnings in the past week.
Notices of possible exposures to people who have tested positive for coronavirus have gone out to families of students in over a dozen classes in North and West Vancouver, including classes of both elementary and secondary students.
At West Vancouver Secondary, two groups of students have received notices: one Grade 12 class with possible exposures dates of Jan. 25 to 27 and one Grade 12 math class with a potential exposure of Feb. 2.
Rockridge Secondary has also advised families of a possible coronavirus exposure in a Japanese class for students in grades 10 to 12 on Jan. 27 and 28.
At the elementary school level, two classes at Cedardale Elementary, a Grade 3/4 class and a Grade 1/2 class have been advised of a possible exposure Feb. 4.
A Grade 1/2 class at Hollyburn Elementary has also been advised of an exposure Feb. 1 and 2.
Families of a Grade 7 class at West Bay Elementary have also been told to self-monitor after a possible exposure Feb. 2 to 5.
One family has also reported a positive case of COVID in a Grade 3 student at the school, according to administrators of a local COVID-19 information Facebook site, but that case is not believed to have led to any exposures.
In North Vancouver, Ecole Argyle Secondary recently issued exposure warning notices to three Grade 11 classes with dates of Feb. 1 to 5.
Ecole Handsworth Secondary has reported a possible exposure in a Grade 8 French Immersion class with a potential exposure date of Jan. 28 and Feb. 1.
Two classes at Highlands Elementary have also been asked to self-monitor after possible exposures Feb. 2 and 3: a Grade 3 class and a Grade 5 class.
At Brooksbank Elementary, where exposure warning notices went out to six different classes last week, a number of students and staff have now been directed to self-isolate, after a third case was identified at the school.
School administrators sent a letter to families explaining that the first two cases were linked outside of school and that the third case is not related to the other two. All of the cases are considered “low risk” by Vancouver Coast Health, according to the letter.
High school students in a Grade 8 PE and English cohort at Sutherland Secondary also received a notice of a COVID-19 exposure Jan. 25 to 28.
The latest exposure notices come after new rules were announced last week that require students in middle and secondary schools and all K-12 staff to wear non-medical masks in all indoor settings in school, except for when seated at a desk or work station, when there are physical barriers up or during eating or drinking. Prior to the changes, students were not required to wear masks when in their classrooms with their own “learning group.”
On Friday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s medical health officer, emphasized B.C. continues to see “low rates of transmission” among school-aged children in the province.
As of Friday, there had been 9,355 cases of COVID reported in children and teens 19 and under in B.C. since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 1,549 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.