Two elementary schools in Burnaby continue to see a flurry of COVID-19 exposures.
Forest Grove holds the highest number of exposure dates listed by Fraser Health since the school year started, followed by Armstrong Elementary.
As of publication (Oct. 13), Fraser Health's school exposure page shows the following dates for events at the two schools:
- Forest Grove: Sept. 27-29 and Oct. 1, 4-8
- Armstrong Elementary: Sept. 29 and Oct. 1-4, 7-8
If a student or staff member tests positive for the virus, public health says they follow the rigorous steps outlined below.
- Public health will investigate to determine if there were any potential close contacts within the school
- If it is determined that there are close contacts within the school, public health will notify the school administrators and request information to assist with contact tracing and provide guidance on what steps should be taken
- Public health may then:
- Recommend 14-day self-isolation if necessary
- Recommend self-monitoring for symptoms if necessary
- Provide follow-up recommendations if necessary
- Schools will ensure students who are required to self-isolate are able to continue their educational program. Together, schools and public health officials will determine if any other actions are necessary
- Parents, caregivers and families will be notified by public health if their child is determined to be a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person
Fraser Health adds if you don't receive a phone call or letter from public health, children can continue to go to school but they should also be monitored for COVID-19 symptoms daily.
B.C.'s School COVID Tracker, which is run by parents, says the 2021-22 school year has seen 1,489 exposure events to date. The 2020-21 school year allegedly saw 7,604.
After numerous complaints and public pressure, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and education minister Jennifer Whiteside announced Oct. 1 that masks would be required to be worn in schools from students in kindergarten to grade 12.
Originally, the mandate only applied to students in grades 4 to 12.
A full list of Burnaby schools with COVID-19 exposure alerts can be found on Fraser Health's website.