The list of schools reporting COVID-19 exposures in the Greater Victoria area continued to grow over the weekend.
Since Friday, there are have been COVID-19 exposure warnings for at least five different schools on southern Vancouver Island.
Here’s a breakdown of where and when the exposure occurred:
- Colquitz Middle School experienced a potential COVID-19 exposure on April 6th.
- Franks Hobbs Elementary experienced a potential COVID-19 exposure on April 7th,
- Glanford Middle School experienced another potential COVID-19 exposure on April 7th.
- Esquimalt High School experienced a potential COVID-19 exposure on April 7th, 8th, 9th.
- Edward Milne Community School experienced a potential COVID-19 exposure on April 7th.
Island Health is completing contact tracing to identify any individuals that need to self-isolate or self-monitor for symptoms.
If an individual may have been exposed, Island Health will contact them directly.
At the moment, there are 18 ongoing exposure or cluster outbreaks in schools across Vancouver Island.
Outbreaks, exposures, and clusters are removed after two weeks from their exposure dates.
An ‘exposure’ is defined by Island Health as a single person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period.
A ‘cluster’ means two or more individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection attended school during their infectious period. These cases may be linked to the school-based transmission.
Island Health says staff or students who see the exposure alert notice should not assume they have been exposed to the virus.
During Tuesday’s press conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was asked why schools in the province are remaining open — especially when other parts of Canada have switched to online learning.
Henry said that the matter was discussed with education leaders and is something they’ve put a focus on.
“We’ve been in touch with our counterparts in the Ministry of Education, with the Superintendents, with the school districts, principals, and teachers,” she said.
“What we have also learned is that we see cases go up when children are not in school, and that is often because they have other unstructured time.”
Henry stressed that “children need school,” adding that the “downside impacts on families are immense.”
As of this publication, there are 9,574 active cases in BC with 508 of those cases being in the Island Health region.