School District 27 (SD27) is reporting a new COVID-19 exposure at the high school in Williams Lake.
In a notice to parents issued Dec. 7, 2020, SD27 Superintendent Chris van der Mark said the individual who tested positive was present at the Lake City Secondary School campus Dec. 1.
“They did not have any symptoms at that time; they became sick following school activities and sought testing immediately,” noted van der Mark. “They followed the school safety protocols. To protect the privacy of the individual affected, we will not be providing any additional details.”
van der Mark told the Tribune while there is potential exposure from this one positive test, no other students are required to self-isolate at this time.
“We are always concerned about the health and safety of our students and staff. This instance is unrelated to the previous potential exposure and actually increases confidence in the processes IH has put in place,” he said. “The system appears to be working as intended and we are not seeing spread in schools.”
He encourages students to continue to come to school while contact tracing is underway.
Last month, a large portion of the student population stayed home after LCSS reported its first COVID exposures on Nov. 19. Attendance had since bounced back.
Interior Health (IH) partners with school districts to share information when there are COVID-19 exposures at schools.
When a case of COVID-19 is confirmed, IH public health works to determine close contacts, and will contact parents/guardians of students who are considered to be at risk.
If a student or teacher receives a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, IH:
Starts contact tracing to determine how the person was infected and who they were in close contact with,
Identifies and notifies close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advises them to self isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days,
Works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact tracing process to maintain close communication with the school community.
IH public health determines close contacts of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 using specific criteria, based on likelihood of transmission.
“Interior Health is recommending that all students and staff remain vigilant in monitoring for symptoms for COVID-19,” van der Mark noted in the letter to parents. “Testing is encouraged for anyone who develops symptoms. Please continue to follow the school’s COVID-19 safety measures such as wearing masks when physical distancing cannot be achieved, and exercise proper hand hygiene.”
Next week, School District 27 (SD27) and Interior Health are teaming up to host a virtual townhall meeting.
The virtual event will take place Wed. Dec. 16, 2020 at 5 p.m. and will be the third such meeting held since the start of the 2020/2021 school year. It will be the first, however, since two confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus in November and this latest exposure.
Anyone with questions for the meeting are asked to email them in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.