Another Nanaimo school has been added on Thursday to the Island Health exposure list, which has seen a slight surge over the last few weeks.
A notice posted on the Island Health website says the latest exposure was on Jan. 29 at John Barsby Community School, located at 550 Seventh St. in Nanaimo.
John Barsby Community School becomes the fourth school from Nanaimo to be added to Island Health’s list in the past week due to a possible exposure of COVID-19.
The other schools currently on the list include Rock City Elementary School, Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School, and Bayview Elementary School.
According to Island Health, exposure is defined as a single person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period.
All three other schools in the Nanaimo area have been upgraded to be considered clusters.
Island Health defines a cluster as “two or more individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period.”
School exposures on Vancouver Island have been trending in the upward direction in recent weeks, with 12 schools currently on Island Health’s list.
The health authority notes that the increase in COVID-19 exposures in schools is a reflection of the greater number of positive cases within the community.
Despite an increase in the number of schools being added to the list, health officials say that rapid responses have led to the containment of COVID-19 to a single positive case in most facilities.
Island Health says if a parent or guardian sees a notification on the Island Health school exposure site does not necessarily mean their child has been exposed to COVID-19.
The health authority said Public Health members will be working with the school and school district to ensure close contacts are notified directly and provided specific guidance.
Anyone who receives a phone call in regards to contact tracing is expected to self-isolate for 14 days.
If a parent or guardian does not receive a phone call or letter from Public Health, a child can continue to attend school, Island Health said.
More information and resources regarding schools and COVID-19 is available at bccdc.ca/covid19.