A fourth school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district has had exposures to COVID-19.
Garibaldi secondary students and parents are being warned of an exposure event at the school on Oct. 19 and 20. A person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 was at the school on those days.
As the province sets new high marks for coronavirus cases in recent days, with a record 817 new cases over the weekend, the exposure events at schools in School District 42 have also increased. There were earlier exposures at:
• Alouette Elementary on Oct. 13
• Edith McDermott Elementary Oct. 13, 14 and 15, and
• Maple Ridge Secondary Outreach alternate program on Oct. 13, 14 and 15.
Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association president Trevor Takasaki said some teachers are worried.
“There’s a high level of anxiety out there as the numbers start to increase,” he said.
There are many teachers who feel that the economy, and providing a place for children to go while parents work, is trumping the health of educators.
“There’s a widespread belief that the economic considerations are more the area of focus than teachers’ health,” he said. “A lot of teachers are questioning, ‘what is driving your decision making.’”
That said, Takasaki has been assured that in-school transmission of the virus is not happening in SD42. He said the school district is doing a good job of managing the virus.
“Everyone in our district is trying to do the best we can in the parameters we’ve been dealt.”
Families have been notified about the latest exposure event with letters from the school district and Fraser Health.
Fraser Health has started contact tracing to identify any individuals who need to self-isolate or self-monitor for symptoms.
Fraser Health says no action is required unless parents are contacted by Public Health or are otherwise directed by school officials. Public Health will contact parents directly in case of any school exposure involving their child.
The school board advises if families do not receive a phone call or letter, their child should continue attending school, and continued to do the daily health assessment protocols, which can be found on the district website.
Students and staff who show even the mildest symptoms must stay home, says the board.