Contact tracing underway at Barriere secondary after potential COVID-19 exposure

School District 73 is facing a potential COVID-19 exposure earlier this month at Barriere secondary. The school’s principal, Angela Stott, sent a letter to student families on Jan. 10 and Interior Health is reporting the potential exposure on Jan. 4, Jan. 5 and Jan. 8.

“A member of the Barriere Secondary School community has tested positive for COVID-19,” wrote Stott, “They are self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams. We are supporting Interior Health Authority as they undertake contact tracing to determine if any other members of our school community were in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19, and if any additional steps are required. We are following the protocol established for these circumstances.”

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Stott said the health authority is performing contact tracing and will determine if anyone in the school community was in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19. The health authority will determine if anyone has been in close contact and is required to self-isolate. No further details will be released, due to privacy reasons.

“If you are not contacted by Interior Health Authority, it has been determined that your child is not at risk of developing COVID-19,” Stott wrote. “The safety and well-being of our students, families and staff remains our highest priority. Please be reassured that our school will continue to implement the strict protocols and procedures we have in place so that children can continue to attend school as safely as possible.”

Students are advised to continue attending school while contact tracing is underway and families are reminded to continue daily health checks to monitor for illness in the household.

“We will continue to work closely with Interior Health Authority to provide ongoing communication as required,” Stott said.

If a student or teacher receives a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, contact tracing takes place to determine how the person was infected and who they were in close contact with. Close contacts, who may be at an increased risk, are advised to self isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Notifications are then removed after 14 days when the risk of transmission has passed.

Interior Health works with the school and school district throughout the case and contact tracing process, while maintaining close communication with the school community. Information and a list of possible exposures to COVID-19 within schools in the Kamloops-Thompson region is available at: news.interiorhealth.ca/news/school-exposures.

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