A day after parents of students at Smithers Secondary School were notified of an exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19, they received another letter of a second exposure.
The second letter from the Northern Health Authority says this exposure occurred Dec. 7, three days before the one reported in the first letter.
The letter goes on to say that the school’s COVID safety plan was followed precisely making the risk of additional cases very low. However, it also informs staff and parents anyone who is identified as having been in close contact with the infected person will be contacted directly by public health and assisted with any actions required.
It defines close contact as anyone who has been in “direct, face-to-face contact for prolonged periods of time with an infectious case.”
The letter informs parents that if they are not informed personally of being a close contact, they and their children are not required to self-isolate, but suggests taking extra care to monitor children for symptoms until Dec. 24.
“Exposure to a confirmed case does not mean you, or your child, will become, sick — and this is especially the case with children,” the Northern Health letter stated. “COVID-19 has a very low infection rate in children and most are not at high risk. We expect to see COVID-19 cases in various community settings, including school settings, but we expect the risk of transmission in school to be low in most cases.”
There have been some 60 exposures reported for schools in the Northern Health region since the beginning of November.
This is the second for Smithers Secondary and SD54.