Five other Surrey schools have exposures from the highly-contagious variant.
Teachers and staff at a Surrey elementary school held a march Tuesday morning to express concerns about safety in schools after COVID-19 variants were identified at seven schools in the Fraser Health region.
Dozens of people, all wearing masks and clad in red, some carrying flags, walked in a physically-distanced line into Ecole Woodward Hill before classes started.
The Surrey Teachers’ Association supported the march, calling the presence of variants in schools a “game-changer.”
Two classes and more than 20 people are self-isolating at home after a confirmed COVID-19 case who attended the school from Feb. 3 to 12 tested positive for the more-transmissible B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom.
Five other schools in the Surrey school district had exposures involving the same variant — AHP Matthew Elementary, Tamanawis Secondary, Gobind Savar School, Surrey Traditional Elementary, James Ardiel Elementary — as well as Hellings Elementary in Delta.
Public health officials reported 28 new cases of variants of concern for a total of 101 cases, and two cases of the Nigerian variant which are still under investigation. Of those cases, four are active and 97 people have recovered.
The presence of the variant in schools has led the head of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, Teri Mooring, to call for more widespread rapid testing and more flexibility that allows school districts to impose stricter measures based on COVID cases in their area.
— with files from Katie DeRosa