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COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kimberley Independent School

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Interior Health has confirmed a single case of COVID-19 at the Kimberley Independent School. The health authority said the exposure date was November 10th.

Following a further inquiry by MyEastKootenayNow.com, Interior Health said there is only one positive case at this time.

This is the second such COVID-19 case reported at a school within the East Kootenay so far since students returned to class, as J.A. Laird Elementary also reported a case in late September.

“Cases in schools reflect cases we are seeing in the community, which is why it is so important for everyone to continue to take all precautions for themselves and their children,” said Interior Health in a written statement to MyEastKootenayNow.com. “While we have had cases in schools, which was expected, we are generally doing well into our third month of kids being back in classes.”

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PREVIOUS: COVID-19 case confirmed at Invermere’s J.A. Laird Elementary (Sep. 21, 2020) 

“With the exception of one outbreak in a Kelowna school that was declared over two weeks, transmission is not happening within the schools themselves thanks to the controlled environments and precautions are in place.”

Interior Health said that when a case is identified, they work closely with the schools to minimize any further spread through contact tracing, as well as appropriate isolation and monitoring.

“When there is a case, individuals who may have been exposed are contacted directly by public health and provided guidance and direction. Students who are not contacted by IH can continue to attend school.”

“We continue to urge parents to avoid situations where exposures are possible,” continued Interior Health’s statement. “This includes not holding parties with children outside your household and, please, as well, avoid sleepovers with classmates.

“We know that gatherings are important for our youth, but it’s important to find a different, safe way to celebrate events this year that does not bring numbers of children together either in your home or at another location. While adults are responding to our request to avoid parties, we also need you to know this also includes children festivities as well. This is another way to ensure our schools stay open and our children get the in-class education that is so important.”

Reaching out to the Kimberley Independent School for further comment on the potential exposure, Kari Johnston provided the following statement to MyEastKootenayNow.com. The full statement is below:

“Public health teams have identified a possible exposure at the Kimberley Independent School. Health officials identified which staff and/or students were involved in the possible exposure, and those people are self-isolating at home.

Those associated with the school that have not been contacted by health officials are deemed low risk and continue to monitor themselves for any symptoms, but can continue to go to school.

‘Exposure’ is a term used when a single person known to have coronavirus attended school while they were infectious. There is no information on whether the positive case is a student,
staff or other to protect the privacy of any individuals involved.

Kimberley Independent School has been working closely with the Interior Health Authority and the Ministry of Education to ensure the appropriate response path has been followed. Administration is taking all precautions to ensure that Kimberley Independent School continues to be a safe place for staff and students as the safety of our students and staff are our utmost priority. We appreciate your support.

Kari Johnston

Principal
Kimberley Independent School”

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