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COVID-19 exposure at Hillside Traditional Academy in Mission

Sixth school in Mission School District to record exposure

Another school in the Mission School District has had a COVID-19 exposure.

Parents of Hillside Traditional Academy were send a notification from Fraser Health on Dec. 22 regarding a single person with COVID-19 being at the school on Dec. 16.

This is the sixth school in the district to be flagged for an exposure. There were three exposures in a row at Hatzic Middle starting in October, followed by an cluster in December which potentially infected four people in one class.

RELATED: Potential COVID-19 cluster at Hatzic Middle School

Mission Central Elementary, Christine Morrison Elementary, Edwin S. Richards Elementary and Mission Senior Secondary all had exposures in November.

The number of school exposures in Mission is fairly minimal when compared with the neighbouring Abbotsford School District. Last week Fraser Health’s list of exposures showed nearly half of Abbotsford’s public schools (21 out of 46) had been flagged since Dec. 1.

RELATED: Almost half of Abbotsford’s public schools record COVID-19 exposures since Dec. 1

An “exposure event” is defined on the health authority’s website as “a single person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period.”

“Exposure events” are the most contained of such classifications, followed by “cluster events” (two or more individuals are infected), and “outbreak events” (infection and transmission are widespread).

A notification does not mean that other children at the school have been exposed to COVID-19.

If parents do not receive a phone call or letter from Public Health, their child should continue to attend school.

The COVID-19 school notification process consists of the following protocols:

• Contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with.

• Close contacts who may be at an increased risk are identified and notified, and they are advised to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

• Public Health determines who is a close contact. Learning groups, friends or other connections may be determined to not 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.

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