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B.C. schools doing a 'very good job' curbing COVID-19 transmissions: Dr. Henry

Last Updated Nov 12, 2020 at 8:17 pm PDT

FILE -- A sign outside Hastings Elementary Community School in Vancouver reminds anyone entering the school to adhere to COVID-19 protocols. (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS1130 Photo)

B.C. has 1,942 schools, there have been fewer than a dozen transmissions, just one outbreak at a school

New modelling data shows 'most school-aged children with symptoms continue not to have COVID-19'

The rate at which school-aged children are testing positive for the coronavirus is 1.7 per cent

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Despite increased testing of children and worrisome exposure notices being issued, data shows B.C. is doing a “very good job” curtailing transmission of COVID-19 in schools, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry.

While presenting the latest numbers on the coronavirus in the province Thursday, Henry stressed that nine out of 10 schools have recorded zero cases of the coronavirus among staff and students.

“This is something we’ve been watching very closely,” Henry said. “There’ve been a lot of coughs and runny noses, and a lot of children tested. Most school-aged children with symptoms continue not to have COVID-19 — which is good news.”

There are 1,942 schools in British Columbia, and exposure notices have been issued at 261.

Henry emphasized that an exposure notice is issued as a result of someone in the school community, which includes all staff and students, “being in the school environment during their infectious period.”

That, she stresses, is not the same as transmission — someone getting infected as a direct result of exposure at their school.

“The measures that we have in place — particularly screening out people who are ill, catching them early, making sure that we’re reducing the probability of transmissions in schools —  are working,” she said.

“This has been a focus because we know how essential is it for our children to be in those environments for their education, for their growth, for their development, for their future.”

There have been fewer than a dozen transmissions, and just one outbreak at a school in Kelowna.

“Teachers have risen to this occasion, everyone in the school setting is doing their best to make sure that it continues to be a safe environment. These numbers tell us that we’re doing a very good job of that.”