Interior Health has confirmed four additional cases of COVID-19 at Kelowna French-language school École de l’Anse-au-sable, bringing the outbreak’s case-count to 15.
The health authority said approximately 175 people remain directed to self-isolate for 14 days.
After an analysis of the school’s population and its available human resources, School District 93 (Conseil Scolaire Francophone) had “no choice” but to close the school until Nov. 4, it stated in an email to the Capital News.
During her briefing on Monday, Oct. 26, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry spoke of the l’Anse-au-sable outbreak.
“We knew, of course, this would be a possibility, especially in some of the smaller schools where the potential of exposure impacts a larger proportion of the school population,” says Henry.
“While the numbers of people with COVID-19 are small, the requirement for those in contact to be in self-isolation has meant the school can no longer safely operate, so schools are working with families to ensure educational opportunities continue remotely during this period.”
École de l’Anse-au-sable is not part of School District 23, the Central Okanagan’s main public school district.
However, two positive, but separate cases of the virus have been reported at SD23’s Kelowna Secondary School. The first case was announced Sunday and another was announced Monday, but Interior Health said the latter of the two was acquired within the person’s household.
“The safety and well-being of students, families, and staff remains our highest priority,” the school district said in a news release. “Central Okanagan Public Schools will continue to implement the strict health and safety protocols and procedures that are in place so students and staff can continue to attend school as safely as possible.”
It is not known at this time whether the infected people are students, staff or faculty members.
Two Kelowna private schools have also noted cases of the virus, at Aberdeen Hall and St. Joseph Catholic School.
The head of Aberdeen, Chris Grieve, stated in a letter to students’ families that someone in their preschool community had tested positive for the virus.
“Interior Health has assessed this situation and the exposure risk is limited to the preschool,” Grieve said. “There is no known exposure to the kindergarten, to Grade 12 students, or staff.”
He added that if families haven’t been contacted by IH, this means their student wasn’t exposed and it is safe for them to return to school.
Interior Health listed St. Joseph Catholic School as having a case present in the school on Oct. 21 and 22.
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org