A second positive COVID-19 test has been reported at Quesnel Junior School (QJS).
According to Northern Health’s website, the exposure happened between Sept. 15 and 18.
The first exposure at QJS was Sept. 10-11.
School exposures are listed on the Northern Health website as another layer of awareness and communication, as the health authority sends communications directly to the school, to be shared with the school community, explains Eryn Collins, Northern Health’s regional manager of public affairs and media relations.
“What we’re really trying to achieve by posting school exposures is to ensure that staff at the school, students and their parents who hear about an exposure can be confident Public Health is also aware of that case and following up with contact tracing,” said Collins. “In the case of the school exposures, it’s very much an awareness issue.”
Collins was not able to confirm whether or not this exposure at QJS is linked to the previous one, but she said Northern Health has posted them as separate incidents because of the different dates.
If a student or teacher receives a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and with whom they were in close contact, according to Northern Health’s website. Public Health officials 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,” the website states. “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.
Collins emphasizes no action is required if your school receives notification of an exposure and you have not been directly contacted by Public Health.
“If your child’s school receives a notification of an exposure, if you aren’t contacted directly by Public Health and identified as a close contact, children should continue to to go to school,” she said, adding parents should, as always, monitor their children for symptoms of COVID-19.
There are currently four school exposure events listed in the Northern Health region — the two at QJS, as well as one at Nak’albun Elementary School in Fort St. James and one at École Frank Ross Elementary in Dawson Creek.