COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19 variant exposure at Mountain Elementary in Abbotsford

Someone with new COVID-19 variant exposed school for 5 consecutive days in late February

Fraser Health sent out a letter to parents of Mountain Elementary on March 2, notifying them a new strain of the virus had come to the school.

Somebody who tested positive for a variant type of COVID-19 was at the school on Feb. 22 to 26, according to Fraser Health.

“A public risk assessment is underway and you may receive further instructions,” the letter says.

The infected person has been isolated and there is no chance of a direct exposure, according to Fraser Health, but staff or students who were in close contact with the infected person will receive a phone call or letter asking them to self isolate. Staff and students may also be asked to self monitor.

Contact tracing is usually completed within 48 hours of Fraser Health receiving notice of a confirmed case.

Abbotsford’s schools currently have 16 other schools (13 public, 3 private) on the exposure list, dating back to Feb. 16.

An “exposure event” is defined on the health authority’s website as “a single person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period.”

“Exposure events” are the most contained of such classifications, followed by “cluster events” (two or more individuals are infected), and “outbreak events” (infection and transmission are widespread).

A notification does not mean that other children at the school have been exposed to COVID-19.

If parents do not receive a phone call or letter from Public Health, their child should continue to attend school.

The COVID-19 school notification process consists of the following protocols:

• Contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with.

• Close contacts who may be at an increased risk are identified and notified, and they are advised to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

• Public Health determines who is a close contact. Learning groups, friends or other connections may be determined to not be a close contact.

• 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.

Abby SchoolsCoronavirus

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