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B.C. must respect privacy when reporting school COVID-19 cases: health minister

Last Updated Sep 15, 2020 at 1:27 pm PDT

FILE - Health Minister Adrian Dix. (Courtesy B.C. Government, Flickr)
Summary

The province is trying to be as transparent as possible when reporting COVID-19 cases, exposures in schools

Adrian Dix says outbreaks at schools are less risky than at long-term care homes

Dix is aware some schools have already sent letters home to parents about students and staff who may have been exposed

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The province is trying to be as transparent as possible while respecting people’s privacy when reporting exposures or cases involving schools, Health Minister Adrian Dix says after the first two were confirmed on Monday.

Dix is aware some schools have already sent letters home to parents about students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus.

“Because there is a broader debate about releasing information that would be identifying for individuals. We believe that we have to invite people to engage with us in the health-care system, and so anything identifying has to not be there,” he said.

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“So there are protocols and I think those protocols are being followed, and I think that’s a good thing,” Dix added. “We can always do better. If there are suggestions as to how we can improve the information we give to the public, we’ll absolutely look at that. You’ve seen that over time and we’ll continue to do that.”

Dix suggests outbreaks at schools are less risky than at long-term care homes, give that associated with the age groups involved.

A letter was sent to families with students at Panorama Ridge secondary in Surrey on Friday, indicating a person who tested positive was there on Sept. 8, before any students returned.

A COVID-19 case involving someone at Delta secondary was confirmed Monday.