Four schools in Port Alberni are reporting exposures to COVID-19.
Eighth Avenue Learning Centre, AW Neill Elementary, Maquinna Elementary and EJ Dunn Elementary schools are all listed on Island Health’s “Exposures in Schools” COVID-19 page for exposures between Nov. 19 and Nov. 25. They are four of eight Vancouver Island schools currently on the list. The others are in Qualicum Beach and Victoria.
The following dates are listed for the schools:
Eighth Avenue Learning Centre — Nov. 24 and Nov. 25
AW Neill — Nov. 23 and Nov. 24
Maquinna — Nov. 19, 20, 23, 24 and 25
EJ Dunn — Nov. 24.
An Island Health letter dated Nov. 28 and sent to parents, guardians, families and staff of students at EJ Dunn noted the exposure is limited to a self-contained Early Years program operating at EJ Dunn “and does not affect the general student population.” Contact tracing has been completed, but “the nature of the latest contact in this early years class was such that leadership chose to exclude the entire class.”
A letter sent to parents of Maquinna Elementary students noted an entire class has been asked to self-isolate, and that a member of the school community had tested positive and is isolating.
At Eighth Avenue Learning Centre, exposure was of “limited duration” and confined to a small program; the general student population was not affected, according to SD70. A letter sent home to AW Neill parents and guardians noted an individual had tested positive and was isolating under advisement from Island Health.
The school district did not share any details about who might have been exposed at any of the schools; district staff do not typically share whether the person exposed is a student, teacher or other staff member.
Haahuupayak School on Tseshaht First Nation land closed its Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes last week due to the number of COVID-19 exposures in Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, although no exposures occurred in the school, Tseshaht First Nation deputy EOC director Hugh Braker said.
The Island Health page is updated after schools have had the opportunity to notify their school community. Island Health notes that if a family has not been contacted about an exposure in their students’ school “your child did not have a high-risk exposure, and they should continue to attend school as long as they are not experiencing any symptoms.”
To leaen more about coronavirus, go online to www.islandhealth.ca.