OHS Canada Magazine

Parents shouldn’t needlessly worry about COVID-19 exposure at school: Henry

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September 29, 2020
By The Canadian Press

Health & Safety british columbia COVID-19 School

Not everyone in a household has to be tested when there is a possible case of COVID-19 in a family

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s provincial health officer says rumours and misinformation should be replaced with facts when it comes to potential exposure to COVID-19 among students.

Dr. Bonnie Henry is encouraging parents to recognize that so-called exposure events do not mean their child has been exposed to the illness.

She said Monday that parents should not worry unless someone from public health has contacted them.

There have been no transmissions or outbreaks of COVID-19 at schools and health authorities follow up individually with anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, Henry said.

There have been some exposures among students who have been hanging out in groups during breaks or after school, so parents should tell their children to stay in their cohorts, she added.


Exposure testing explained

B.C. recorded 267 cases of COVID-19 since Friday and three more people died, for a total of 233 fatalities. The province has had 8,908 cases since the start of the pandemic, and 7,346 people have recovered from COVID-19.

Henry said not everyone in a household has to be tested when there is a possible case of COVID-19 in a family.

“For the most part, if you’re a sibling of a contact, you don’t need to stay home,” she said, adding there should not be any expectations for an entire class to be informed in that situation for privacy reasons.

Henry said a limited return to school sports is being considered, though teams would initially be playing within a region and close-contact sports like wrestling would be excluded.

Halloween events will also have to be done differently this year, with a focus on small gatherings outside and no one being required to sing for their treats, she said.


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