Parent worried some Burnaby COVID school exposures left off online list

A local parent is concerned two COVID-19 exposures at a Burnaby school haven't made it onto the Fraser Health Authority's school exposures webpage.

Parents at Cariboo Hill Secondary School got two Fraser Health notices in two days this weekend saying someone infected with the virus had been at the school.

A notice on Friday said someone who tested positive had been at the school on Nov. 9.

A second notice on Sunday told parents another infected person had been at the school on Nov. 12 and 13.

As of Monday afternoon, however, neither exposure had appeared on the Fraser Health school exposures webpage.

The parent, who did not want to be named, expressed concern that all school exposures aren’t being made public.

While parents at affected schools are being notified, he said, the Fraser Health site is the only place parents can get a picture of what is happening in the district as a whole.

That’s important for parents who have kids in programs, such as after-school care, that might include students from more than one school.

The parent also said Fraser Health should archive its school exposures like the BC Centre for Disease Control does, so the public can look for trends that may be clustered around specific schools or areas.

“This is important for parents to know to make a decision of when to also pull their children from the school system if they feel it is no longer safe,” wrote the parent in an email.

Fraser Health said the COVID-19 school exposures webpage provides parents, teachers, and students with “transparent information about COVID-19 exposures in a school environment, the process of contact tracing, and the steps that are taken to inform parents and staff should a positive case be reported in a school.”

In an email, the health authority said the webpage is updated daily with the latest information, and individual school exposure listings are removed 14 days after the COVID-19 exposure date.

At a Nov. 4 teleconference, Fraser Health chief medical health officer Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin explained some of the lag in the school reporting process.

“The school notification process takes 24 hours, so the cases come in over the course of the previous day,” she said. “They’re identified as being linked to a particular school, and it’s not until the following day that that information actually goes up on our website.”

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