VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The principal of Vancouver’s Laura Secord Elementary has let parents and students know about a COVID-19 case in the school community.
The exposure has yet to be listed on the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority school exposure notification website, a concern raised by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.
“I am writing to let you know that we have been made aware that a member of our school community has tested positive for COVID-19,” Laurent Brisebois, principal at
Ecole Laura Secord School, says in a letter addressed Tuesday.
“It is important that you know that Vancouver Coastal Health has been in direct contact with any individuals who they have determined need to be informed. Please know that if you have not been contacted by Vancouver Coastal Health it is because they have determined you are not at risk and do not need to be concerned. As always if you have questions about COVID-19, please contact your health care provider, call 8-1-1 or see the Vancouver Coast Health website,” she adds.
Brisbois won’t give out any other information because of privacy laws, including when the test happened and if a student is involved.
“Ecole Laura Secord School will continue to implement strict health and safety protocols and procedures. The Vancouver School District works very closely with, and follows the guidance and direction of, Vancouver Coastal Health,” Brisebois says.
“As the school year progresses it is normal for students and staff to be away from school from time to time due to illness, vacation, or family circumstance. I ask for your support in not speculating or commenting on such absences.”
The B.C. teacher’s union said earlier in the day it’s concerned about inconsistent reporting of COVID-19 exposures involving schools and a lack of transparency from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, in particular.
Speaking to @bctf pres @TeriMooring who is sending letter to PHO with concerns as #covid19 exposure events mount at schools. Overall with how contact tracing is being approached, info provided in all regions, transparency specifically @VCHhealthcare …1/#bcpoli #bced @NEWS1130
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) September 22, 2020
Since the province announced COVID-19 exposure alerts in schools would be made available online, Vancouver Coastal Health has faced criticism for the way it has handled its alerts. The health authority has only posted one exposure at a school, despite there being others.
However, Vancouver Coastal Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Patricia Daly said those who need to know about exposures are being informed, even if only online.
Daly explained if there were close contacts to an infected person, they would be notified by public health authorities.
As of Wednesday morning, there have been more than 30 potential exposures at schools but no transmissions so far.
A teacher in West Vancouver has complained to WorkSafeBC after claiming they contracted COVID-19 from a student in their cohort and were not warned about the exposure by health authorities.