Six Chilliwack public schools currently have early notification letters out regarding COVID-19.
The letters are sent out to advise families of a COVID-19 case in the school, and provides basic information such as the date and what Fraser Health will do next.
The schools with letters include Chilliwack secondary (Nov. 24, 25 and 26), Rosedale Traditional (Nov. 23 and 24), Mount Slesse middle (Nov. 23 and 24), Sardis elementary, (Nov. 20), Little Mountain elementary (Nov. 19 and 20), and G.W. Graham (Nov. 18).
There is also a current letter out for Unity Christian for Nov. 20.
Fraser Health advises that “if your child’s school has been notified of an exposure, no action is required unless you are contacted by Public Health or are otherwise directed by school officials.”
In late October, at least 12 Chilliwack schools had exposure events and several families chose to keep their children home from school. At the Nov. 24 school board meeting, staff reported on student absenteeism and how it relates to COVID-19 notices.
Assistant superintendent Paula Jordan said in a report that attendance is dipping along with exposure notices, but that about 88 per cent of the enrolled students are attending in class.
The average absentee rate across the district was 8.5 per cent in mid-September and grew to 13.5 per cent by the end of the month. It was up to 29.4 per cent by the end of October, but had come back down to 14.6 per cent by mid-November.
The average absentee rate in a normal year is about 10 per cent, Jordan said.
As of mid-November, Fraser Health had no reports of school transmissions reported in Chilliwack. Instead, the cases seen in local schools have come from community exposures.
To see more information about school exposures and contact tracing visit www.fraserhealth.ca.
NOTE: Since this story was first published, Sardis Secondary also received an early exposure notice, for the dates Nov. 24 and 25.
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.