Royston Elementary School has been added to the BC School COVID Tracker website as having an exposure, while the numbers are mounting at Brooklyn Elementary, in Comox.
The Royston exposure – the first one reported from that school – occurred on Sept. 20, according to a letter sent to families. The exposure was added to the website on Sept. 27.
Of greater concern is the latest news out of Brooklyn Elementary, in Comox. On Sept. 26, the website posted a fourth exposure at Brooklyn Elementary. The dates of this latest exposure were Sept. 15, 16, 17, 20, and 21.
Island Health has confirmed the Brooklyn exposures as a “cluster.”
According to the Island Health website, a cluster is defined as “two or more confirmed cases within a 14-day period, with evidence of transmission occurring within the school and no other likely source of exposure (eg home or social contact).”
On Aug. 31, Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that health authorities would no longer post public notifications of each single exposure.
“It will be slightly different this year because the risk is different with the high rates of immunization that we are seeing, and we have seen now that transmission to people when you have that wall of vaccination is much, much less,” Henry said at the Aug. 31 briefing. “We will not be doing the notifications to school if there has been a single exposure. They will be doing an assessment as we do for every communicable disease, and every individual who is at risk will be notified.”
She added that, based on feedback, the procedure used during the 2020-2021 school year may have caused undue stress to parents.
“We’ve heard very clearly from people that the majority of people felt that the school-based letters were more anxiety-provoking than helpful,” Henry said. “We will absolutely be keeping the schools informed and working with the schools with our school response teams to make sure that every single case in the school setting is identified, that contacts are managed, and that the people are informed about what is happening in the school setting.”
The BC School COVID Tracker website (bcschoolcovidtracker.knack.com) has listed 136 exposures in BC schools since Sunday, Sept. 26, and more than 400 exposures in schools since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, the majority of those being in elementary schools.