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Surrey parents concerned as more COVID-19 cases reported at schools

Last Updated Sep 21, 2020 at 8:40 am PDT

FILE (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

The Surrey DPAC says there are concerns among parents as the number of COVID-19 cases rise at schools

Surrey DPAC says it's been happy with transparency and speed by which superintendent has notified community of cases

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – With more COVID-19 exposure alerts issued by Surrey schools, the District Parents Advisory Council says concerns are mounting over the safety of students, staff, and their families.

While the district superintendent has been up front and quite quick at notifying the public about potential exposures, the DPAC says families would like more information.

“It’s likely some students and some staff, but the district [in trying to] protect people’s privacy is saying very little about the actual cases,” DPAC spokesperson Dean McGee tells NEWS 1130. “I think most of us would like to know more about it, but we all understand the privacy concerns.”

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McGee says he and other parents are very pleased with the transparency and speed by which information is being shared by Jordan Tinney, the district’s superintendent.

However, he says the real concern is just the sheer number of cases already recorded in Surrey. As of Monday morning, 15 cases were reported at public schools in the city.

MAP: B.C. schools with COVID-19 exposures

“Our district is the biggest in the province,” he says, adding it makes sense that Surrey schools would be recording more cases than other districts. However, McGee says the fact that there are so many cases raises questions.

“We do know that our district has been very transparent and we don’t know if Vancouver Coastal and the other school districts are putting out as much information because the parents on the internet reports cases in West Van and Richmond, and those can be very slow to show up on Van Coastal’s website,” McGee says.

An exposure alert for Hastings Elementary in Vancouver was sent out on Sunday, but did not say what days the person who tested positive for the coronavirus was at the school.

According to the email, Vancouver Coastal Health was already in contact with people it determined needed to be informed of the potential exposure.

There have now been a total of four confirmed cases of COVID-19 at schools in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 18 in the Fraser Health region.