Hatzic Middle and Albert McMahon Elementary are the two schools which have had evidence of in-school COVID transmission, Superintendent Angus Wilson said.

Hatzic Middle and Albert McMahon Elementary are the two schools which have had evidence of in-school COVID transmission, Superintendent Angus Wilson said.

Exposures in Mission schools at all-time high, leaked Fraser Health data shows low spread in early 2021

Only 2 confirmed clusters from Jan. 1 to March 7; Surrey had 35, Abbotsford had 10

Since May 1, the Mission School District has been flagged for more COVID exposures in a two-week period than ever before.

Hillside Traditional Academy had exposures on every single school day last week; Mission Senior Secondary had exposures on May 4 and 6; Hatzic Middle on May 3 and 4, and Hatzic Elementary and West Heights Elementary on May 5, 6 and 7.

“Right now, it’s not great,” said Superintendent Angus Wilson. “I had six notifications yesterday … Overall, Mission’s done pretty well, but we’re definitely in a peak cycle right now.”

A Fraser Health analysis of school clusters and transmissions from Jan. 1 to March 7, was leaked on social media on May 7.

Mission’s in-school transmissions were low for the first two months of 2021, especially when compared to other school districts in the Fraser Health region.

The data revealed only two Mission schools were affected by clusters (evidence of transmission occurring in school) from the start of Jan. 1 to March 7. Wilson confirmed those schools were Albert McMahon Elementary and Hatzic Middle.

But compared to 35 confirmed clusters in Surrey and 10 in Abbotsford, Mission record of transmission is relatively small – one of the smallest in the Fraser Health region.

A Fraser Health table showing number of clusters/outbreaks in each municipality, separating private and public schools and percentage of total cases from Jan. 1 to March 7.

RELATED: Mission has 3rd highest rate of transmission in Fraser Health, according to latest BCCDC data

Mission has only one confirmed case of staff-to-student transmission, and one case of student-to-staff transition, according to the data.

In comparison, Abbotsford had 23 student-to-student transmissions, three from students to staff, two from staff to staff, nine from staff to student, and two cases that are unclear – a total of 39.

Wilson, for his part, is skeptical Mission’s numbers are as low as reported. He said the evidence standard is high for transmissions, and they never get an official cluster declaration from Fraser Health.

“Who can really ever say with these things? We’ve had an interesting one where a child got it somewhere in the community, took it to their school, brought it home, (and) both parents are educators,” he said. “That’s technically a kid-to-parent or transmission, but not in the school.”

Wilson said he doesn’t have a number on how many staff have caught the virus, but that infections have occurred in teachers, principals and vice-principals.

A Fraser Health graph showing the number of weekly cases per 100,000 population, for students (blue) and community numbers (red). Mission has a population of just over 40,000.

As for the current exposures, most stem from a single individual coming to school for multiple days before isolating, the longest being a nine-day period, according to Wilson.

“The longer they’re in the school, the more corners they can get to,” he said, adding the recent Hatzic Elementary closure was because of one infected person.

While Fraser Health’s analysis of clusters only confirmed 267 cases out of the 2049 examined, there are 333 suspected cases which are undergoing genome sequencing, and “current results reflect possible/likely in-school acquisition.”

[CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated the data sets were from Jan. 1 to May 7, when it should have read, Jan 1 to March 7. The data was leaked on May 7.]

RELATED: Fraser Health still unsure if 333 cases of COVID among students, teachers were acquired in school

RELATED: COVID exposure at Hatzic Elementary causes staff to self-isolate, remote classes for next week


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@missioncityrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMission

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read