Entire class told to get tested as COVID-19 variant 'of concern' found in 3 more Surrey school exposures
A classroom with desks spread out in Surrey, B.C.
VANCOUVER -- Three more Surrey schools have had COVID-19 exposures that include a “variant of concern,” according to Fraser Health.
At least one person associated with each of the schools – Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Frank Hurt Secondary School, and M.B. Sanford Elementary School – has tested positive for a concerning and more transmissible variant of the coronavirus.
“Only those staff and students who have been identified as close contacts need to be tested and have been contacted,” reads a statement released Friday night from Fraser Health.
The health authority did not specify which new strain of the coronavirus was detected and said only that it’s a strain that can “transmit more quickly and easily but does not interfere with the effectiveness of vaccines, nor affect our ability to test for the virus.”
Dates of the exposures were not provided by Fraser Health, however Surrey Schools superintendent Jordan Tinney took to Twitter to share more information about the exposures.
According to Tinney’s tweets, the exposures at Queen Elizabeth happened between Feb. 8 and 12.
Tinney also said the exposure at Frank Hurt happened on Feb. 18, and two classes have been advised to self-monitor for symptoms, while the exposure at M.B. Sanford was on Feb. 12 and led to recommendations for an entire class to get tested.
The schools will stay open and the health authority says that it is investigating the cases.
“To date, they appear to be linked to community transmissions,” reads Fraser Health’s statement.
“As this is a variant that is new to our communities and more easily transmissible, Fraser Health is working to identify any further connected variant cases to ensure immediate isolation and case management to prevent further transmission,” it continues.