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‘What are they waiting for?’ asks Coquitlam parent worried about long wait for school isolation letter

Fraser Health has flagged 33 Coquitlam area schools with COVID-19 exposures in recent days and one parent says her son's class isolation letter should have come sooner; Scott Creek middle school is one of several in Coquitlam dealing with coronavirus exposures
1222 Scott Creek middle school
Scott Creek middle school in Coquitlam has had five days with COVID-19 exposures in February.

A Coquitlam parent says Fraser Health took too long to send her a self-isolation letter and says the delay could have resulted in more COVID-19 cases at her son’s school.

Shari O’Neill received a letter on Feb. 21 saying that students who attended Scott Creek middle school on Feb. 8, 10 and 11 should self-isolate for 14 days — a nearly two week lag time between the first exposure date and the letter.

The best defence is offence,” said O’Neill, whose son is in Grade 8 at Scott Creek middle school in Coquitlam. “I’m just not understanding how this is being allowed to get out of control, what are they waiting for?”

Fortunately, most students in her son’s class were already learning at home because their teacher told them a second student in the class had tested positive on Feb. 15.

The teacher’s note, sent after a parent provided permission, alerted families to COVID-19 in the classroom so they could make informed decisions. O’Neill said, and she praised both the teacher and the parent for their quick action, noting that the teacher pivoted to providing remote learning for students who were staying at home.

FIVE DAYS OF EXPOSURES AT SCOTT CREEK

It’s Fraser Health’s responsibility to pass on information to parents, and the health authority has made efforts to streamline its notification procedures.

However, O’Neill said in her son’s case it was helpful that a parent and teacher gave families notice as soon as they had it, as her son is worried about catching COVID-19 and passing it on to the family.

On its website, Fraser Health states that Scott Creek had an exposure on Feb. 8, 11, 12, and 17 and parents have also received a letter about a Feb. 16 exposure.

According to a letter from the principal, students in O’Neill’s son’s class will receive remote instruction until Monday, March 1 when students can return to school.

Scott Creek has been flagged for numerous exposures on recent days in February, including Feb. 8, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18,19, according to Fraser Health.

As of Monday, Feb. 22 eight schools in Coquitlam, three in Port Coquitlam and three in Port Moody were given new COVID 19 exposure dates since last Friday, for a total of 30 in School District 43, plus a francophone and two independent schools.

On Tuesday, Feb. 23 Fraser Health added two exposures to its website for Pitt River middle school for Feb. 12 and Feb. 16.

The news comes as Fraser Health is working with six schools in Surrey and one in Delta where COVID-19 cases involving a variant of concern have been flagged.

The BC Teachers Federation is also calling for more mask wearing— including at elementary schools — and less classroom density to deal with variants of concern at Surrey schools.

Below is the list current to Feb. 23

PORT COQUITLAM

1. James Park elementary Feb. 9

2. Glen elementary - Feb. 10, 12

3. Leigh elementary Feb. 8, 9

4. Maple Creek middle - Feb. 11, 12 

5. Castle Park - Feb. 11,12

6. Archbishop Carney (Private) - Feb. 8, 9,10, 16 17

7. Ecole des Pionniers (Francophone) -  9, 10, 16, 17 

8. Pitt River middle school - Feb. 12, 16

 

COQUITLAM 

1. Eagle Ridge elementary - Feb. 9, 10, 11

2. Gleneagle secondary - Feb. 8, 9,10, 11,12,16

3. Montgomery middle - Feb. 8, 9, 11,12

4. Pinetree secondary - Feb. 10

5. Panorama Heights Feb. 8, 9,10, 11, 12

6. R.C. MacDonald elementary - Feb. 8

7. Walton elementary - Feb. 10, 11 

8. Scott Creek - Feb. 8, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18,19

9. CABE - Feb. 8, 9, 10, 11

10. Winslow Learning Centre - Feb. 12

11. Our Lady of Fatima Coquitlam (Private) - Feb. 8, 9,  

12. Lord Baden Powell, Feb. 12 

13. Smiling Creek Feb. 8, 9, 10 

14. Charles Best, Feb. 12

15. Gleneagle 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16

16. Panorama Heights, Feb. 11, 12

17. Eagle Ridge elementary Feb. 9, 10, 11

18. Centennial Feb. 11, 12, 16

19. Queen of All Saints School (Private) - Feb. 16, 17

20. Banting middle school - Feb. 16, 17

 

PORT MOODY 

1. Aspenwood elementary - Feb. 8, 9, 10, 11

2. Glenayre elementary - Feb. 8, 9,10, 11, 12, 16

3. Heritage Woods secondary - Feb. 8, 9, 10,11,12

4. Mountain Meadows elementary - Feb. 8, 9,10, 11

5. Moody elementary - Feb. 9,10

6. Heritage Mountain  Feb. 12

ANMORE

Eagle Mountain middle Feb. 8, 9, 10, 11

 

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