5 schools on Vancouver Island now dealing with COVID-19 clusters
Health officials on Vancouver Island have declared clusters of COVID-19 at four more schools in the South Island. There are now five active clusters at schools in the region.
Island Health defines a "cluster" as "two or more confirmed cases within a 14-day period, with evidence of transmission occurring within the school and no other likely source of exposure."
The health authority announced a cluster at Sir James Douglas Elementary School in Victoria last week.
This week, it has added four more schools - three of them elementary schools and the fourth a K-12 French immersion school - to the list of clusters on its website.
The new clusters are at Mt. Prevost and Tansor elementary schools in Duncan, Discovery Elementary in Shawnigan Lake and École Victor-Brodeur in Esquimalt.
Last year, B.C. health authorities publicly shared exposure notifications whenever someone associated with a school community tested positive for COVID-19 and had been present at the school during their infectious period.
Before the start of the current school year, health officials said such exposure notices would no longer be issued, saying the notifications had caused anxiety for parents.
Earlier this week, after backlash from teachers and parents who argued that the lack of information was more anxiety-inducing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said her team had changed course, and was working on a new system for exposure notifications.
Details of that system have not yet been shared.