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38 infected with COVID-19 after 'super spreader' event at Chilliwack dance studio

There are now 13 schools linked with exposures linked to the Cappella Dance Academy outbreak.
A dance studio in the Fraser Valley is linked to 38 cases of the coronavirus. Dance class. Photo: Getty Images

A dance studio at the heart of a growing outbreak in Chilliwack is now linked to 38 test-positive cases of COVID-19 in what health officials say qualifies as a “super spreader event.”

There are now 13 schools linked with exposures linked to the Cappella Dance Academy outbreak.

Earlier this week, Capella's owner, Sarah Wood, took to the studio's Facebook page to offer her point of view on the outbreak and mapped out the chain of events from her experience so far. 

Several sports teams in Chilliwack have suspended or wrapped up their seasons in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community. 

The Chilliwack minor hockey and ringette associations have paused play until further notice, while the Cheam Skating Club has cancelled its programming until at least Saturday and the Chilliwack Minor Football Association has called off the rest of its season.

Majority of new cases now in Fraser Health

As the largest health authority in the province, Fraser Health has become the epicentre of the virus in British Columbia. On Wednesday, Nov. 4, 205 of the 355 new cases — about 58% — of cases were reported in the health authority, which stretches from Boston Bar to Burnaby and includes such urban centres as the Tri-Cities, Surrey and Langley. 

But Fraser Health chief medical health officer Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin said there hasn't been in-school transmission linked to the dance studio and that schools remain a relatively safe environment for students. The health authority has no plans, said Brodkin, to shut schools down. 

But when it comes to group settings in which people exercise together, Brodkin said additional restrictions could be in the works, citing an outbreak at a spin class in Ontario as evidence for the prevalence of transmissions in gym settings.

“We will be looking at these settings in the coming days,” she said. 

- With files from the Canadian Press. 

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