Find BC Parent

Excellent update from VCH – Low COVID-19 transmission in schools

Excellent update from VCH – Low COVID-19 transmission in schools

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Things are looking good today! The rain has stopped (for the moment), the BC COVID-19 vaccination plan is ready, and schools continue to be a safe place for our children. I know the return to school after Winter break has been difficult for some, but as long as everyone is diligent in washing hands, staying home when sick, and maintaining our bubbles we will get through it.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) today released data that indicates a low rate of COVID-19 transmission in schools across its region in the first half of the school year. Since schools reopened in September, VCH has not recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases among school-aged children relative to other groups. Those aged 5-17 years of age accounted for 6 percent of VCH’s COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, despite representing 10 percent of VCH’s population. Evidence shows children are less likely to get infected with COVID-19, and less likely to experience severe symptoms if infected.

Speaking about COVID-19 and school environments, VCH Medical Health Officer Dr. Alex Choi said, “We want educators, other school staff, parents/caregivers and students to feel reassured that schools are a safe and low-risk environment for COVID-19 transmission, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our schools and school districts. The safety plans currently in place are robust and effective, and VCH is committed to ensuring that when students or school staff do test positive, a rigorous Public Health follow-up process is in place.”

Transmission Numbers

From Sept. 10 to Dec. 18, approximately 700 students or staff in the Vancouver Coastal region of a total population of over 100 thousand, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since schools reopened. Over 90 percent of these cases have not resulted in any school-based transmission. The vast majority of affected students and staff contracted the virus at home or in social circumstances outside of school and links to schools were determined through contact tracing.  Students and staff who get tested must isolate while waiting for test results and continue to do so if they test positive. In addition, close contacts are also asked to self-isolate for 14-days. This rigorous Public Health tracing process has supported in further reducing transmission events in schools.

Dr. Choi said the data supports efforts to keep schools open, and for students to attend in-person, “While we have seen a moderate increase in COVID-19 cases among young people since the end of October, this is reflective of the overall increase in COVID-19 cases in our communities. Schools are an essential determinant of physical, mental and emotional development. It is our utmost priority to ensure students can continue to attend school, despite the ongoing pandemic.”

When VCH is notified of a positive case in a student or school staff member, Public Health completes an investigation, typically within 24 hours, to identify all individuals that person was in contact with. If the person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended school while potentially infectious, Public Health coordinates with the school to notify all contacts and to offer guidance. Depending on their level of contact with the person who tested positive, this could include directions to self-monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms arise, or to self-isolate at home for close contacts.

Once those who were in contact with the person who tested positive have been notified directly of a potential COVID-19 exposure, VCH posts the notification to its website. The page is updated once per day on weekdays. Additional information about the contact tracing process for schools is also available on this webpage.

VCH is responsible for the delivery of $4.1 billion in community, hospital and long-term care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea-to-Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. VCH also provides specialized care and services for people throughout B.C., and is the province’s hub of health care education and research.




Rainy day activity – yummy, scented playdough!

6 Reasons Your Child Might Need Physiotherapy That Is Commonly Missed

BC Parent NewsMagazine Logo | | BC Parent Logo

A quest for sleep – my sleep training diaries


5 Exciting Ways to Celebrate to the Fullest at the PNE Fair!

young girl smiling and studying for school

5 Useful Tips to Help Your Child Transition Back into the School Year

STEM learning

6 ways to foster curiosity, build confidence and instill a love of learning in children through STEM

Related Posts

How can you protect your children during heat waves?

Year over year, we are seeing extreme heat events become more common and severe in...

Do you love yourself enough?

Three-time award-winning author Shantelle Bisson was born and raised in Toronto and splits her time...

Preparing for hot summer weather

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has issued special weather statements for several parts of the province. The statement indicates our region will experience the first hot stretch of the summer with inland temperatures reaching into the upper 20s starting tomorrow, and into the low 30s into early next week.

It’s World Continence Week - Talking Taboos about Pelvic Floor Health 

Incontinence, or peeing yourself involuntarily is a fairly taboo topic. It’s not easy, as an...

Scroll to Top

Connect with us

Signup today for the latest parenting tips, contest alerts and local deals.

BC Parent Cookies | | BC Parent

We care about your data, and we'd love to use cookies to make your experience better