Fraser Health has launched a website to track COVID-19 cases in schools as they occur throughout the region.
Eleven school districts in the Fraser Valley will make exposure information available to parents, teachers, and students through on online portal.
Parents will be notified of positive cases, contact tracing and safety measures schools with exposure events are taking. It will also include a list of outbreaks, should they occur.
So far, there are no known outbreaks, however, as of Wednesday afternoon, there have been exposure events at the following schools:
- Khalsa School (Old Yale Road location, Surrey).
- Johnson Heights Secondary, Surrey.
- Panorama Ridge Secondary, Surrey.
- Sullivan Heights Secondary, Surrey.
- William Watson Elementary, Surrey.
- Delta Secondary.
Exposure events occur when someone with a positive case may have come into contact with people inside the school. An outbreak is when there is at least one identified positive case within a particular setting.
Health officials say parents are notified immediately when there is a positive case. They are also informed of contact tracing and safety measures schools with exposure events are taking.
If you do not receive a phone call or letter from public health, your child should continue to attend school, according to the FHA.
Making information public
Other health authorities are also expected to make exposures public, with links posted to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website, according to the province.
The Fraser Health Authority is the first to go online. The school districts that fall under the Fraser Health region are:
- Abbotsford (SD 34).
- Burnaby (SD 41).
- Coquitlam (SD 43).
- Chilliwack (SD 33).
- Delta (SD 37).
- Fraser Cascade (SD 78).
- Langley (SD 35).
- Maple Ridge (SD 42).
- Mission (SD 75).
- New Westminster (SD 40).
- Surrey (SD 36).
Close contacts of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 will be warned of a potential transmission, the health authority says. However, an exposure event does not mean all students attending the school have been exposed.
"We're doing this in an effort to be as transparent as possible, and to support parents in providing them with the information that they need to make safe choices for their children," said Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin, interim chief medical health officer at Fraser Health.
Brodkin said making the information public is also a way to combat misinformation circulating on social media.
"We found that being transparent and upfront with this information really helps to reduce anxiety," she added.