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COVID-19 outbreak at Burnaby daycare expands, variants ruled out

The outbreak is believed to be linked to pub trivia night
A positive swab test for COVID-19. Photo: Getty Images

A COVID-19 outbreak at Burnaby’s biggest daycare facility continues to grow.

Fraser Health chief medical officer Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin said Monday that the outbreak at the SFU Childcare Society on Burnaby Mountain has now reached 28 cases – 15 staff and 13 children. The original number announced last week was 24 cases.

The outbreak, however, does not include any link to the type of variant strains that have been discovered at schools in Surrey and Delta, Brodkin said.

The Burnaby outbreak is believed to be linked to a trivia night at the St. James’s Well pub in Port Moody.

To respond to increasing COVID-19 cases in our region, including variant cases, Fraser Health says it is implementing enhanced management strategies for case finding and contact management to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants in our region.  

The new actions include:

  • Effective immediately, expanded COVID-19 testing recommendations to include all high-risk contacts of individuals who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms. In addition, expanded use of Point of Care testing for specific clusters or outbreak settings.
  • To prevent further transmission of the virus, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be asked additional questions about their exposures, their close contacts and their ability to self-isolate. In addition, Fraser Health Public Health contact tracing teams will check in more frequently to see how they are feeling and managing their illness.
  • Immediate steps are being taken to streamline screening for variants so we can identify and notify positive cases more quickly.

“Over the last few days, Fraser Health’s Public Health team has been working closely with the Surrey and Delta School Districts to manage COVID-19 and COVID-19 variant of concern exposures at multiple schools,” said a news release. “With the new measures in place a range of actions were organized quickly depending on the exposure assessment, from rapid testing of a few close contacts to testing of several classes. As this is a variant that is new to our communities and more easily transmissible, Fraser Health is working to identify any further connected variant cases to ensure immediate isolation and case management to prevent further transmission. The variant strain can transmit more quickly and easily but does not seem to cause more severe illness, nor interfere with the effectiveness of vaccines, nor affect our ability to test for the virus.”