École La Verendrye in Chilliwack (but within Conseil scolaire francophone #93) is one of 12 schools in the community that received notice on Nov. 1, 2020 of a school exposure. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress file photo)

École La Verendrye in Chilliwack (but within Conseil scolaire francophone #93) is one of 12 schools in the community that received notice on Nov. 1, 2020 of a school exposure. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress file photo)

Chilliwack public school exposure dates not included in Fraser Health list

No dates of COVID-19 exposures listed for Chilliwack’s 10 affected public schools

Fraser Health (FHA) has updated its school exposure list to include the 12 Chilliwack-area schools that have had COVID-19 cases recently.

But the website does not list the dates of exposure for the public schools involved, breaking past practice for all other exposures listed on the site.

Exposure dates are only listed for an independent school (Unity Christian) and École La Verendrye, which is a part of Conseil scolaire francophone #93. Chilliwack School District’s 10 affected schools refer to an “early notification letter” sent out on Nov. 1.

The FHA website was updated the morning of Nov. 3.

It states that contacts of those who test positive for COVID-19 are the only ones that will receive further information. Some families have confirmed with The Progress that they’ve now received close contact letters from Fraser Health.

Unity’s exposure dates are Oct. 26, 27, 28 and 29. La Verendrye’s exposure dates are Oct. 22, 27 and 28.

Prior to the Nov. 1 letter sent out to all 12 schools, a letter was sent out district wide on Oct. 30 from the superintendent of schools, Rohan Arul-pragasam. That letter did identify any schools in question.

READ MORE: COVID-19 exposures in at least a dozen Chilliwack schools

It stated: “We have contacted Fraser Health Authority (FHA) and are awaiting confirmation from FHA and will work with them to determine if there is any risk to other members of our school community or if any additional steps are required,” he wrote. “We will follow the health authority’s guidance.

“The FHA will connect directly with any individuals who may have been exposed with further instructions.”

Some parents are concerned that the lapse between known exposure dates and confirmation via letters could lead to further spread of the virus in the school community. Parents and students were sharing positive test results with each other via social media late last week, prior to Halloween.

Several organizations around Chilliwack that work with youth have decided to halt programs either for the season or at least until more information is known about local cases. Mount Cheam Christian School in Chilliwack recently had a number of cases, the principal confirmed with The Progress, and they made the decision to close the school based on a lack of available staff.

Hope Secondary was also informed on Nov. 1 of an exposure. As with Chilliwack, no information about exposure dates is listed on Fraser Health’s site.

The BC Centre for Disease Control releases information about each smaller region, including Fraser East, at the end of each week. There has been a small uptick in the numbers of positive cases for youth for the last week, week 44 of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Mount Cheam closes for COVID-19 isolation measures, moving to online learning


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jpeters@theprogress.com

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