Revelstoke Secondary School. (File)

Revelstoke Secondary School. (File)

Updated: COVID-19 reported at Revelstoke Secondary School

Interior Health said there was potential exposure to students and staff from Dec. 15, 16 and 18

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 exposure event for Revelstoke Secondary School.

SD19 said a member of the school community recently tested positive for the virus.

There was potential exposure to students and staff on Dec. 15, 16, 17 and 18, according to Interior Health’s website.

As of Dec. 25, a reliable source told Black Press several students have tested positive for COVID-19.

The schools are closed for the Christmas holidays and classes are expected to return on Jan. 4.

Superintendent Mike Hooker said there is no indication that this incident will have an impact on students or staff’s return to school.

Before this, SD19 was among only 11 out of 60 districts in the province that had not yet a COVID-19 exposure.

Hooker said this case is not surprising, given the high number of cases reported in Revelstoke in the last month.

In total, there have been 49 cases in Revelstoke between January and November, all of which except three were reported in November alone.

This is not the first COVID-19 exposure event for Revelstoke schools. Ecole des Glacier Elementary in SD93 reported a case on Nov. 23, however the disease remained contained and did not spread to Arrow Heights Elementary, which shares the same building.

The province maintains that schools remain low risk for transmission of the virus.

Interior Health said while there have been over 500 COVID-19 exposure events in B.C. schools, only 12 of those have spread further into the community.

“While we are seeing cases in schools, transmission is not happening within the schools themselves thanks to the controlled environments and precautions that are in place. This shows us the plan is working and the majority of students continue to get the education they need in a safe environment,” said Interior Health in an email to the Review.

Other businesses in Revelstoke have temporally closed due to possible COVID-19 exposure, including Zalas, Terra Firma Kitchen and Pure Image.

Interior Health is advising that patrons who visited Zalas around Dec. 12 may have been exposed to COVID-19.

READ MORE: Public cautioned after potential COVID-19 exposures at Revelstoke restaurant

The province provides weekly numbers on COVID-19 cases for Revelstoke. Between Dec. 13 and 19, there was seven new COVID-19 cases reported in the community.

B.C. is reporting 518 new cases and 19 deaths due to COVID-19, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a press conference Wednesday (Dec. 23).

The number of daily new infections has continued to decrease since mid-November, with hot spots in the southern Interior, the Northwest and the Fraser Valley, where the highest number of diagnosed cases has been determined since fall.

Across B.C., 5,603 people have already received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, including Henry.

Interior Health said it will determine who might have had sustained close contact with COVID-19 at Revelstoke Secondary School and if needed, will get in touch with those affected.

READ MORE: COVID death toll nears 800 in B.C.; 5,600 people have received first dose of vaccine