Alexis Nguyen / Staff Reporter

Outbreaks of COVID-19 cases were reported in the Fraser Health region, one at a school, one at a child-care center and one in a health care facility. Fraser Health is currently completing contact tracing in the communities affected by the outbreaks, according to the article Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreaks at Timothy Christian School and SFU Childcare Society from the Fraser Health Website

The child-care center reported 24 cases linked to the outbreak. The school, located in Chilliwack, has reported 35 cases.

“The school already closed voluntarily on February 4, Fraser Health said, when too many staff members needed to self-isolate because they had COVID or were in close contact with people who had the disease,” according to the article COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at School and Child Care Centre in Fraser Health Region written by Alyse Kotyk.

“The students transitioned to online learning at that time and the school is working on a plan to return to in-class instruction, possibly as early as next week.”

This marks the first school outbreak in the Fraser Health region. It also addresses the possibility of an outbreak happening at any school. Students are afraid of a possible outbreak happening at our school, as it would disturb our learning and end up spreading quicker.

“Even if we are not the most vulnerable, we are most likely to spread the virus to others, thus making it just as dangerous,” said Emilyn Lai, Grade 10.

Students must now wear masks in classrooms, as announced by the provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry two weeks ago. Although it gives some parents a sense of security when sending their kids to school, Gleneagle students think the new rule doesn’t change much, because students were wearing masks within classrooms most of the time.

The district has had multiple exposures in the last couple weeks, two coming from Gleneagle. The school community can agree that more exposures and potential outbreaks can be prevented my ensuring safety protocols are followed, such as sanitizing of surface, hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing whenever possible.

When asked about possibly closing schools for 14 days to help alleviate the situation, students had different responses.

“The amount Covid cases in BC are currently in a downwards trend, so I don’t think a school closure will be necessary at this moment, but new variants may change things,” Lai said.

“Yes, since there are millions of cases around the earth, I’m sure Dr. Bonnie Henry suggests all schools to sanitize everything before they close for the night and give students a clean environment when they come back,” said Joshua Mah, grade 10.

A Gleneagle parent, Ika Setyawati, about a possibility of schools closing. They stated, “Schools should not close because if other countries can make schools safe, what is stopping us from doing that here? Only in the event of an outbreak should schools close otherwise it is not going to help because kids are going out in the community anyways, meaning transmission will be taking place there as well.”

Sources:

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/covid-19-outbreaks-declared-at-school-and-child-care-centre-in-fraser-health-region-1.5312418

https://www.fraserhealth.ca/news/2021/Feb/fraser-health-declares-covid-19-outbreaks-at-timothy-christian-school-and-sfu-childcare-society#.YDVqCmhKjIU