Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

A BC mother comments on delays in the announcement of COVID-19 in schools after her daughter’s class was made to wait nine days to be told about exposures.

The exposures took place between Sept. 22 and Sept. 24 at Fairview Elementary in Maple Ridge, but parents were not notified until Oct. 1.

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The mother, who Global News does not identify because it could affect her employment, believes her daughter was given COVID-19 at the time, possibly at school, and may have passed it on to family members at a dinner on Saturday, September 25th.

“Had I been given information about possible exposure in the classroom, we would not have attended a family dinner with fully vaccinated adults before she developed symptoms,” she said.

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“From that dinner, four adults became infected with COVID. The system does not work. ”


Click to play video: 'Province accused of downloading school COVID-19 vaccination decision'



The province accused of downloading school COVID-19 vaccination decision


The province accused of downloading school COVID-19 vaccination decision

The daughter started showing symptoms on Sunday and got a positive test on Monday where the mother informed the school.

But it was not until Friday afternoon, nine days after the first exposure and five days after the mother reported the daughter’s positive test, that the parents received a letter from the school district informing them of exposures and asking them to self-monitor.

The Maple Ridge School District confirmed two COVID-19 clusters at Fairview Elementary and said it had implemented enhanced security measures.

The district immediately notifies public health when a parent reports a positive test, district spokeswoman Irena Pochop told Global News.

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Several BC PACs call for improved COVID-19 security measures in schools

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“The responsibility for establishing close contacts and the next step lies with the staff at Fraser Health, who work closely with the school principal to make this decision,” she said.

“Not all positive cases result in school exposures, and only public health experts can – based on their study – determine when an exposure occurred.”

Fraser Health said it conducted “strict” contact tracking in all reported school descriptions while working to protect the privacy of individuals.

“Fraser Health works closely with schools throughout the contact tracking process, and when a child tests positive for COVID-19, we begin this process immediately, including direct contact with all close contacts in a positive case that may have been detected,” says spokeswoman Larisa Saunders said in an email.

“If your child has been exposed and is considered a close contact, you will hear from Fraser Health’s public health team with instructions on what to do.”


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The BC government is facing pressure to bring rapid test kits into schools


The BC government is facing pressure to bring rapid test kits into schools

But Elizabete Costa, a parent and volunteer in the BC Safe Schools Coalition, said the messaging process has broken down to the point that it is useless.

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“It does not work at all. When parents get information that children are getting sick, parents are getting sick, grandparents are getting sick. Everyone gets COVID because they do not get timely information, ”she said.

“It does not matter whether there has been a transmission at the school or not. The information provided to the parents is for them to be able to make their own assessments and their own decisions. ”

When the parents get information, she said it was sadly inadequate and does not include how many students were sick or what class or class they went to.

Read more:

New BC modeling data show increase in COVID-19 cases among children in some health regions

Costa said the information gap has forced parents to approach grassroots messaging either via parent groups or social media platforms like BC School Covid Tracker, which cuts sources to school exposures.

“If we wait for public health, it can be five to ten days for everyone to be aware – by that time an asymptomatic or symptomatic child has brought it home to vulnerable people, pregnant mothers, newborns, the grandmother undergoing cancer treatment,” she said. .

“This is not acceptable. We cannot have secrecy or misinformation for five to ten days when it involves an illness that can spread within two days. ”

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Click to play video: 'Tracking COVID-19 exposures'



Tracking the school’s COVID-19 exposures


Tracking the school’s COVID-19 exposures

British Columbia was heavily criticized by parents early in the school year for not announcing school exposures – a move it said was intended to ease “anxiety”. The province turned its course on that position last month.

Read more:

COVID-19: Vaccine registration open to BC children 5+, but no timeline after approval

The number of COVID-19 cases among younger children, representing about half of the remaining unvaccinated people in BC, has risen steadily since September.

Last week, the independent BC COVID Modeling Group released data showing dramatic increases in school-age children in the Fraser Health, Interior Health and Island Health regions.

The group said these children could lead to greater dispersal of society until they could be vaccinated.

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None of the existing vaccines have been approved for children under 12, but parents in BC can register their children pending the vaccines becoming available.

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