A single classroom at Hatzic Middle School may be the source of a COVID-19 cluster, with at least four people from the class testing positive for the virus since Dec. 1, according to Superintendent Angus Wilson.
Wilson posted to social media yesterday evening (Dec. 15), regarding a potential cluster at the school. He said the infections are suspected, but not yet confirmed to have been transmitted through the classroom.
Please note that an earlier December Covid exposure @HatzicMiddle has been determined to be a potential cluster. Students in that particular group have been directed to self isolate; other students should continue to attend. Thank you @Fraserhealth and staff for all your work!
— Angus Wilson (@AngusSD75) December 16, 2020
The approximately 25 students in the class have had to self isolate, and a number of students and staff have been directed to self monitor for any symptoms while still attending school, Wilson said.
Hatzic Middle is listed as having COVID-19 exposures on Dec. 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 15 on Fraser Health’s website, but it has not yet been identified as having a cluster.
Fraser Health’s website defines a cluster as: “Two or more individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period. The cases may be linked to school-based transmission.”
While an exposure event is defined as: “A single person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period.”
The middle school has had exposures before – three in a row starting in October, followed by the current exposures starting on Dec. 1.
If parents do not receive a phone call or letter from Public Health, their child should continue to attend school, according to Fraser Health.
Their 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.