Two classes at South Cariboo schools have been forced to “self-isolate” following COVID-19 exposures over the past week.
Letters from School District 27 were sent to parents in classes at Horse Lake Elementary and Peter Skene Ogden Secondary advising of a COVID exposure and asking unvaccinated students and staff to stay home and monitor for symptoms.
District superintendent Chris van der Mark confirmed Tuesday that the letters had been sent out at the direction of Interior Health following contract tracing, but said the move was “not unusual” and that the process of identifying classes that need to be isolated “seems to be working fairly well.”
“We know there is a fair bit of COVID kicking around right now, and we know that Delta is more infectious,” van der Mark said. “And we know that the school-aged population under 12 has no vaccine option, but that the effect on kids is very minor.”
According to a list on Interior Health’s website, exposures have also been documented at Lac La Hache Elementary (Sept. 27, 28 and 29), Mile 108 Elementary (Sept. 21) and 100 Mile Elementary (Sept. 21).
The past few weeks have seen COVID cases continue to rise in the 100 Mile House region, according to data from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
The most recent stats from the week of Oct. 1 to 7 show that the 100 Mile area had an average daily case rate of 44 per 100,000 population. Adjusted for the population used, that translates to more than seven positive cases per day. The case rate has been steadily increasing since the beginning of September, when the area was seeing an average of less than one positive case per day.
Mayor Mitch Campsall addressed the increase of cases at Tuesday’s council meeting, encouraging residents to “look after your community and get vaccinated.”
“Nobody really wants to get vaccinated but we do it because it makes safer for our households, our parents, our grandparents and our children,” he said. “The only way we’re going to get out of this is if we get out there and get vaccinated.”
The vaccination rate in the 100 Mile House region is slowly climbing upwards; as of last week, 68 per cent of eligible residents aged 12 and up had received both doses, and 70 per cent of eligible residents aged 18 and over were fully vaccinated.