High School Masks
(photo via Unsplash)

Island Health reported five south Island school clusters of COVID-19 in the past two weeks – two schools are in the Greater Victoria area.

A COVID-19 cluster is defined by Island Health as “two or more confirmed cases within a 14-day period, with evidence of transmission occurring within the school and no other likely source of exposure.”

The four clusters announced this week are at Discovery Elementary in Shawnigan Lake École Victor-Brodeur in Esquimalt and both Mt. Prevost and Tansor elementary schools in Duncan.

The cluster at Sir James Douglas Elementary School in Victoria was announced last week.

Before the start of the current school year, BC health officials said such exposure notices would no longer be issued, saying the notifications had caused anxiety for parents.

After hearing a call from parents and educators, Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province is working on a system to make sure parents can have access to COVID-19 school notifications that are “less intrusive.”

Details on that system have not yet been announced.

For those worried about COVID-19 in schools, a vaccine may soon be available to children.

On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced successful trials with their COVID-19 vaccine in five- to 11-year olds and that they will be appealing to Health Canada to authorize their vaccine.

Children received a smaller dose – about more than a third – than those aged 12 and older.

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