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COVID-19 'clusters' cause three schools in Fraser Health to shut down for two weeks

Three schools in three Metro Vancouver cities will be closed due to clusters of COVID cases.
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Three schools at districts within the Fraser Health authority region in the Lower Mainland will be closed for a two-week period due to clusters or outbreaks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo: Getty Images

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.

Read more from the Delta Optimist and New West Record

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