COVID-19 exposures reported at three local schools

Students and staff at three Prince George-area schools may have been exposed to COVID-19, according to information released by Northern Health on Friday.

Northern Health reported COVID-19 exposure events at Foothills Elementary School, Prince George Secondary School and Beaverly Elementary School. The Foothills exposure took place Nov. 23, the PGSS exposure on Nov. 20 and the Beaverly exposure on Nov. 23-24.

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"Northern Health Authority has informed the principal of Foothills Elementary School that students and staff may have been in contact with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 on November 23rd, 2020," Northern Health medical health officer Dr. Rakel Kling wrote in an email sent to Foothills parents on Friday. "Every school in B.C. has a COVID-19 safety plan in place. In this circumstance, the safety plan was followed precisely – and because of this, the risk of additional cases is very low."

Public health staff will be contacting the parents of any students who were identified as a close contact of the lab-confirmed case. Students, their families and school staff should take extra care to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from the exposure at their school, Kling wrote in her letter to parents.

"If you or your child has no symptoms and you have not been informed personally by public health that they are a close contact and should self-isolate – you and your children are not required to self-isolate," Kling wrote. "Testing is not recommended or needed if you or your child has no symptoms because it is not accurate or useful when a person has no symptoms."

On Friday, Northern Health also announced an exposure event at Fort St. James Secondary School on Nov. 19-20, and a second exposure event at North Peace Secondary School in Fort St. John on Nov. 19.

On Thursday, the health authority announced a second exposure at Peden Hill Elementary School from Nov. 17-20. The first exposure at the school took place Nov. 12-17.

Van Bien Elementary School had an exposure on Nov. 9-10, and Ron Brent Elementary School reported an exposure on Oct. 30.

Other school exposures reported this month by Northern Health include the Energetic Learning Campus, North Peace Secondary School and Bert Bowes Middle School in Fort St. John; Charlie Lake Elementary School; Dawson Creek Secondary School (South Peace campus); William Konkin Elementary School in Burns Lake; Chetwynd Secondary School; and Hudson's Hope Elementary and Junior Secondary School.

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