Canadian children leading COVID-19 case count as Island parents deal with exposures

Canadian children leading COVID-19 case count as Island parents deal with exposures
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A child is immunize in the United States as COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for children under the age of 12.

Tillicum Elementary is one of 29 schools in Island Health dealing with COVID-19 exposures as of Friday.

The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) says it has been notified of six cases linked to the school with one class now in isolation.

“At this point without the work of the PAC, I would have no idea that my child had been exposed to COVID,” said parent Elise Cote who has a son in Grade 2 in Tillicum school.

Cote says she learned about the exposure in her son’s class from the PAC on Thursday but didn’t receive a letter from Island Health notifying her of exposures on October 29 and November 1 until Friday afternoon.

She had already made the decision to keep her son home from school Friday when they both woke up with symptoms and decided to go for testing.

“‘A’ are we infected? ‘B’ did we infect other people unknowingly? That is something that would weigh on my conscience for sure,” she said.

It’s a stressful situation many Canadian parents are navigating right now with children under 12 leading new COVID-19 infections across the country.

“Right now this age group represents over 20 per cent of cases daily and yet they only represent about 12 per cent of the Canadian population,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer.

The situation is no different in B.C.

While they’ve come down from a peak in early October cases in school-aged children 5-11 are higher than every other age group with 550 new cases reported just in the past week.

Sadly one child in that age group has been admitted to critical care.

READ MORE: COVID-19 cases among kids in B.C. saw highest rise among those aged 5 to 11

With children under 12 now being vaccinated in the United States, many are hoping immunizations will be approved in Canada soon.

“We hopefully will have another opportunity to reduce those concerns and circulation of the virus in the pediatric population,” Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health Chief Medical Health Officer, told CBC Radio’s ‘On the Island’ Friday morning.

READ MORE: COVID-19 cases declining across Canada, but not as quickly as before

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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