In a letter to parents Wednesday, (Feb. 24), the superintendent of School District 71 said there are eight members within the district who have tested positive for COVID-19, and 108 staff and students who will be required to self-isolate for two weeks.
Tom Demeo, along with Paul Berry, director of instruction, Health and Safety for SD71 noted one member of the Queneesh Elementary School community tested positive and Island Health identified three staff and 18 students who will be required to self-isolate.
At G.P. Vanier Secondary School, six members of the community have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate.
An advisory posted to the Island Health school exposures page states possible Vanier exposures on Feb. 16, 17 and 19. (This was updated Wednesday, Feb. 24, to include Feb. 19. The original advisory, posted Feb. 20, only listed Feb. 16-17 as possible exposure dates.)
At Glacier View Secondary, one member of the community tested positive and two students are required to self-isolate.
“In all three situations, school communities were advised by letter from the district and Island Health. School district custodial staff conducted terminal cleaning of each school site,” read the letter. “While this news of increased cases in the community is disappointing, given all the hard work we have done together over the past year to keep our schools free of this virus, it is also a reality check for us all.”
The letter noted that all who have tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites.
On Monday (Feb. 22), parents, guardians and staff at École Au-cœur-de-l’île on Linshart Road in Comox received a letter that noted a member of the school community has tested positive for COVID-19.
The letter notes that a member of the school community has tested positive for COVID-19 and is being isolated. Island Health is in contact with the person. The days of potential exposure are Feb. 16 and 17. It also states that the letter does not mean a student, parent or guardian has been exposed.
In a statement to the Record, Island Health said it will not comment on individual cases of COVID-19 or disclose the number of cases related to specific communities or schools out of respect for patient privacy.
“In general, multiple cases being identified within or associated with a school community is not necessarily an indication that an individual acquired the virus at school, or attended school while they were infectious. Often, additional cases identified within school communities that have experienced an exposure are in individuals who were already in self-isolation, after being deemed a high-risk close contact by Public Health,” noted the statement.
The health authority also sent out an advisory to parents and staff at Inglis Early Learning & Preschool (2137 Comox Ave.) that a member of that workplace has tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the advisory dated Feb. 19, the individual is isolating and is in correspondence with Island Health. The dates of the potential exposure were Feb. 16 and 17.