VICTORIA -- A private school in Duncan is temporarily closing its doors in response to a cluster of COVID-19 cases.

Duncan Christian School says it will be suspending in-person learning until Feb. 1. Remote learning will take place during the temporary closure.

COVID-19 exposures were first reported at the South Island school on Jan. 6. The exposures have affected "a high number of staff," said the school in a release Monday, making it "difficult to function operationally."

While the exact number of COVID-19 cases linked to the school has not been released, Island Health has categorized the situation as a "cluster," meaning that "two or more individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection (…) attended school during their infectious period."

A cluster is less severe than an "outbreak," which is declared if "transmission is likely widespread within the school setting."

In a letter sent to members of the school community Sunday, Island Health said that it would be contacting any students or staff that have been identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 case who need to self-isolate for 14 days.

If you are not contacted by Island Health, you do not need to self-isolate, though you are asked to monitor for symptoms of the virus.

"We will continue to work closely with Island Health, whose team has gone above and beyond for us," said Duncan Christian School principal Peter Terpstra in a release Monday.

"At the time of our return, we will continue to follow our COVID safety plan," he said. "It is our hope and prayer that those who are affected by this will recover quickly."

As of Monday, there are seven schools across Vancouver Island that have reported possible COVID-19 exposures. Each school remains in the Island Health school exposure list until two weeks after the most recent exposure.

The full list can be found here