Outbreak at Kelowna school grows to 11; 18 new IH cases

School outbreak grows to 11

Six more members of a Kelowna's École de l’Anse-au-sable school have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total cases connected to the outbreak to 11.

The outbreak was declared at the school earlier this week, making it the first COVID-19 outbreak declared in a British Columbian school since students returned to class last month.

While three members of the school initially tested positive for the virus, prompting an additional 160 people to self-isolate for 14 days, the number of infected people has grown to 11 as of Friday.

In the past 24 hours, 18 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Interior Health region, bringing the total active cases to 72. Two people are being treated in hospital, one of whom is in ICU.

Thursday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said it's believed the first infected person contracted the virus from someone who had travelled to the Okanagan from elsewhere in the province.

In a statement Friday, Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Kamran Golmohammadi said only contacts of COVID-positive people have been required to self-isolate, not “contacts of contacts.”

“The siblings and household members of individuals identified as a 'contact,' when no confirmed case is identified in the household (also known as “contacts of contacts”), do not require self-isolation,” Golmohammadi said.

“These household members need to be able to continue to go about their daily lives while respecting the general public health recommendations similar to other public members.

“We urge everyone to remain calm and to support people, rather than create more fear and uncertainty through discrimination and prejudice.”

Interior Health also noted that Building Blocks Educare daycare has voluntarily closed its Gordon Drive campus, as it deals with a cluster of COVID-19 cases “affecting a select group of its childcare centre community.”

Interior Health says they are working with the childcare centre and they'll be in contact with anyone who's required to self-isolate.

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