Three schools in the Fraser Health authority region are shutting down for two weeks due to outbreaks or clusters of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
Fraser Health has declared an outbreak at Al-Hidayah School, an independent school in New Westminster, to manage a cluster of COVID-19 cases at this location.
Eight positive cases of the coronavirus have been identified at the school.
As a result of this cluster, Al-Hidayah School has advised Fraser Health that they will functionally close the school for a two-week period due to the staffing challenges presented by the cluster.
This follows exposures at two other local schools, including Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary on Nov. 2 and New Westminster Secondary on Nov. 2 and 3.
Clusters, cases, and closures: Surrey and Delta
Elsewhere in the region, Fraser Health has declared an outbreak at Cambridge Elementary School in Surrey, after seven COVID-19-positive cases were identified. As a precautionary measure to respond to this outbreak, Fraser Health has advised the Surrey School District to close Cambridge Elementary School for a two-week period to break any chains of COVID-19 transmission that may be present at the school.
In addition, Fraser Health is working closely with the Delta School District to manage a cluster of COVID-19 cases at Jarvis Elementary School in North Delta. Six COVID-19-positive cases have been identified at this location. As a result of this cluster, the Delta School District has advised Fraser Health that they will functionally close Jarvis Elementary School for a two-week period due to the staffing challenges presented by the cluster.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Delta School District, Fraser Health issued an early notification letter for a COVID-19 exposure at North Delta’s Richardson Elementary on Friday afternoon stating that an individual who attended the school on Nov. 4 and 5 had tested positive for COVID-19. The person infected is self-isolating at home.
How Fraser Health relays COVID case information
Fraser Health will only phone staff and students that have been identified as needing to self-isolate for 14 days from when they were exposed. Letters may be sent to staff and students who will be asked to self-monitor for symptoms.
Fraser Health updates its school exposure cases on its website.
In a school environment, if a student or teacher receives a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, Fraser Health Public Health follows a rigorous protocol:
- Contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with in order to advise for self-monitoring or isolation.
- Public Health staff works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community.