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COVID-19 exposure alerts among Metro Vancouver schools rise as week two of classes begins

Last Updated Sep 21, 2020 at 7:53 am PDT

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS1130 photo)

More schools around the Lower Mainland are reporting COVID-10 cases as students return for week two of classes

Surrey has been quick to inform the public about possible exposures, with more than a dozen schools reporting cases

As of 5:00 a.m. Monday, there were 26 school exposure alerts in total across B.C.

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – As most students in B.C. get set for their second full week of classes, the number of schools with COVID-19 exposure alerts is still rising.

More than a dozen schools in Surrey have now reported cases of COVID-19.

The district’s superintendent has been quick to confirm the possible exposures with the public, alerting parents within days of cases.

The latest school affected in Surrey is Boundary Park Elementary. Superintendent Jordan Tinney says an individual with COVID-19 was at the school on Sept. 14 and 15, and that letters have been sent out to staff and parents, with contact tracing now underway to identify anyone that may need to self-isolate or monitor for symptoms.

Add that to Tamanawis Secondary School, Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, L.A. Matheson Secondary School, and another exposure at Panorama Ridge over the weekend.

There are now 15 public schools on the list of exposures in Surrey, as well as two independent schools.

As of Monday morning, there were 26 school exposure alerts in total across B.C.

Tinney, who’s been posting on social media and recording videos with information regularly, says Fraser Health examines the Surrey school district’s safety practices, like physical distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-hygien protocols “With each COVID exposure.”

Tinney was early to lay out how the district would handle the situation when a case was detected at a Surrey school.

The increase in the number of COVID-19 cases comes amid growing concern and confusion by many in the region about the return to class amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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One man, who said he’s a secondary school teacher in Surrey, described what he considered unsafe conditions at his school, telling NEWS 1130 that “It’s not the super-safe, sanitized environment that they had portrayed.”

There have also been concerns raised about physical distancing among students, as well as overcrowding.

-With files from Liza Yuzda