Less than 1% of all BC school children have tested positive for COVID-19: Henry

Dec 23 2020, 5:26 pm

While there have been a number of school exposure events in BC since students returned to the classroom in September, BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Wednesday that less than 1% of all school-aged children in BC have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Most school-aged children who have symptoms don’t have COVID-19 and that remains the same as we have seen throughout the pandemic,” she said during a press conference on Wednesday.

And with more than 600,000 individuals in BC’s school system, “this is something that we’ve been following very carefully.”

Henry said that when it comes to exposure data from in school environments, “what we have seen is that even though we have exposure events that reflect transmission in our community, we have very little transmission actually taking place in schools.”

In fact, “school-aged children in the general population represent about 12% of all cases since the beginning of the pandemic,” she said.

Put another way, Henry said, about one in every 100 school-aged children has been tested for COVID-19 across BC,  and less than 1% have actually tested positive.

In total, there have been 526 school exposures out of the nearly 2,000 schools in BC.

Her comments come as the province reported 518 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing BC’s recorded total to 48,027.

Henry said that by specific health region, this equates to 97 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 332 in the Fraser Health region, nine in the Island Health region, 49 in the Interior Health region, and 31 in the Northern Health region.

There are 9,137 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 348 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 80 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Currently, 9,689 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and there have been 19 new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 796 deaths in British Columbia.

A total of 36,952 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have now recovered.