A person infected with the COVID-19 UK variant was at Garibaldi secondary, but no spread has been identified. (Neil Corbett/The News)

COVID-19 variant confirmed at Maple Ridge high school

But testing of students and staff showed no spread at Garibaldi Secondary

A person infected with a COVID-19 variant attended Garibaldi Secondary school in Maple Ridge, but no spread of the virus has been identified.

“Public health teams have conducted a full investigation at Garibaldi high school. Testing has confirmed the original person did have the B.1.1.7 variant of concern. They have since recovered and there is no longer an exposure risk,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, in their update on Wednesday.

“Eighty-one students and eight educators were also tested and all are negative. Rapid testing of the school cohort indicated one positive case, which was later confirmed as a false positive through the subsequent, more reliable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.”

The variant involved is the one first identified in the U.K. The school testing took place on Monday.

READ ALSO: Case of COVID-19 at Maple Ridge high school may be new variant

Fraser Health announced Sunday evening that a person from the school had tested positive for the virus, and had a contact who had the U.K. variant, which is spread more easily.

The school case was also found to be the U.K. variant.

READ ALSO: 16 more deaths, 414 more positive COVID-19 tests in B.C.

School District 42 superintendent Harry Dhillon advised Garibaldi families of the findings in a letter Wednesday at about 4:30 p.m.

“Today, Fraser Health is providing the attached update, advising that public health has found no evidence of spread to other staff and students,” he wrote. “I know this has been a challenging few days…”

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