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Van Bien Elementary the fourth Prince George school flagged for potential COVID-19 exposure

Letter says Nov. 9, 10 are the dates; Chetwynd Secondary also listed
Van Bien Elementary School. (Hanna Petersen, PrinceGeorgeMatters)

A fourth school in Prince George may have been potentially exposed to COVID-19.

PrinceGeorgeMatters has obtained a letter sent to parents of students at Van Bien Elementary on Monday (Nov. 16) from Northern Health.

It explains the authority has informed Principal Tracy Cole that students and staff may have come into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus between Nov. 9 and 10.

The letter also explains the safety protocols in place for Van Bien were ‘followed precisely’ and the risk of any further spread is considered low. 

Parents are being advised to monitor their child’s symptoms between now and Nov. 24 at midnight, which will mark 14 days after the last date of possible contact.

Northern Health also advises that exposure to a confirmed case 'does not mean you or your child will become sick with COVID-19.'

Should a student or teacher receive a positive COVID-19 test in any case, Northern Heath's school notification process is as follows:

  • Contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with
  • We identify and notify close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advise them to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days
  • Only Public Health can determine who is a close contact
  • Learning groups, friends or other connections may not be determined to be a close contact
  • Public Health staff works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community


Van Bien exposure parent letter - Nov. 16, 2020Parents of students at Van Bien Elementary were sent a letter on Nov. 16, 2020 of a potential COVID-19 exposure event at the school. (via Submitted)


Van Bien exposure parent letter 2 - Nov. 16, 2020Parents of students at Van Bien Elementary were sent a letter on Nov. 16, 2020 of a potential COVID-19 exposure event at the school. (via Submitted)

Van Bien is the third School District 57 (SD57) listed for possible COVID-19 exposure since students went back to the classroom in September.

Ron Brent Elementary (Oct. 30) and Prince George Secondary (Oct. 2) are the other institutions; Immaculate Conception, an independent school, was also flagged on (Oct. 21-23).

Chetwynd Secondary was also added to Northern Health's list for possible exposure today (Nov. 17), citing Nov. 13 for the SD59-Peace River South school.

Nine other northern B.C. schools have been flagged for possible COVID-19 exposure:

  • Hudson's Hope Elementary-Junior Secondary - Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2020
  • Roosevelt Park Elementary School (SD52) - Oct. 21-22, 2020
  • Fort Nelson Secondary School (SD81) - Oct. 15-16, 2020
  • Notre Dame School (Private) - Oct. 13-14, 2020
  • Dawson Creek Secondary School - South Peace Campus (SD59) - Sept. 23-25, 2020
  • David Hoy Elementary School (SD91) - Sept. 17-18, 2020
  • Quesnel Junior Secondary School (SD28) - Sept. 10-11, 15-18, 2020
  • Nak’albun Elementary School (Independent) - Sept. 16-18, 2020
  • Ecole Frank Ross Elementary School (SD59) - Sept. 10-11, 2020

As of this publication, Northern Health has totalled 539 COVID-19 cases since March after a record 21 new infections were detected in the last 24 hours.

This also includes 64 active cases, 11 people in critical care and five deaths.