COVID-19 outbreak forces closure of entire Kelowna school

Virus outbreak closes school

Kelowna's École de l’Anse-au-sable has decided to close its operations entirely for 10 days after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the school last week.

Last Wednesday, an outbreak was declared at the french-language school, when three positive tests were discovered amongst members of the school. Friday, Interior Health announced the outbreak had grown to 11 cases, and 160 members of the school were self-isolating for two weeks after coming into contact with the infected people.

But Sunday, the school sent out a notice to parents that the entire school will be shutting down until Nov. 4.

“After an analysis of the school population and available human resources, the administration of the Conseil scolaire francophone has no choice but to close École l’Anse-au-sable until Nov. 4, 2020 inclusive, to ensure everyone’s safety,” the letter states.

The full closure of the school was not ordered by Interior Health.

The school notes that Interior Health is continuing to investigate the outbreak. It was the first, and remains the only COVID-19 outbreak in B.C. schools since they were reopened last month. An outbreak is declared when transmission of the virus occurs within the school itself.

Last week, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the first case of the virus at the school is believed to have been contracted by someone visiting from somewhere else in B.C.

The school has asked parents to keep a close eye on their kids' health over the next 10 days, although it notes that if IH has not reached out directly, “your child is not at risk of developing COVID-19.”

An update on the latest number of cases connected to the outbreak is expected from Interior Health Monday.

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