A Shuswap school closed for a week due to COVID-19 exposures is reporting a cluster of confirmed cases among a Grade 2 class.
Sorrento Elementary School notified families of the cluster on Tuesday, Oct. 12, the day after it was announced the school would be closed for one week due to staffing constraints resulting from COVID-19 exposures.
A “cluster” is two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 to have occurred among students and/or staff within a 14 day period, with transmission suspected or confirmed to have occurred within the school. The determination of clusters is made by medical health officers.
As of Oct. 13, new potential exposure dates for Sorrento Elementary had been added to Interior Health’s list of school exposures: Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1, 4, 5 and 6.
“Out of abundance of caution, Interior Health is recommending that students and staff in the Grade 2 class affected self-isolate and/or self-monitor for symptoms,” reads the Oct. 12 notice. “Students in the class are being asked to self-isolate at home for 10 days, followed by four days of monitoring for symptoms.”
School staff not fully vaccinated were also asked to self-isolate for 10 days, followed by four days of monitoring for symptoms. Fully vaccinated staff were advised to self-monitor.
“If a school member has not received a letter or call from Interior Health this means they are not considered exposed.”
An Oct. 11 letter to Sorrento Elementary families from Interior Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Fatemeh Sabet and School District 83 Superintendent Donna Kriger called the week-long closure a “functional closure” and not a school outbreak.
“Recently, there have been some cases of COVID-19 among the school community, and as such there are a number of school community members that require self isolation for 10 days,” reads the letter.
Interior Health asked all members of the school community to self-monitor for symptoms and get tested if they are sick. Testing information is available on the Interior Health website at https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/testing-information/.
With the closure, remote learning is to start on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Classroom teachers were to be providing resources to parents via email, and also connecting with students and families personally.
In-person classes were expected to resume at Sorrento Elementary on Monday, Oct. 18.
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