While infections among young people aged 12 to 17 have levelled off, younger children, ranging from 5 to 11, have seen a dramatic spike in infections.
“The rates that we’re seeing right now of COVID-19 per 100,000 population is going up quite dramatically, particularly in those younger school-aged children who are not eligible for vaccination,” said Dr. Henry.
Henry also suggested that the cases among children reflect the low vaccination rates in the regions they’re from, particularly Northern, and Fraser Health.
“The rates that we’re seeing in school-aged children are reflected in the rates of vaccination that we’re seeing in the community,” added Dr. Henry.
Most of the children who are testing positive in the 5 to 11 age group are in Eastern Fraser Health, where new restrictions have been introduced.
While some children have needed critical care, there have been no deaths due to COVID-19.
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Due to this development, regional health authorities will begin posting K-12 “potential exposure events” on their websites, beginning Tuesday, September 28.
There has also been a dramatic increase in COVID-19 testing among the same age groups over the last three weeks, something Dr. Henry suggested happened during the last school year as well.
She went on to say that COVID-19 positivity rates have either stayed the same or gone down in most groups, aside from children aged 5 to 11.
Health officials will be continuing to monitor these trends and will continue to offer weekly updates.
Dr. Henry also reiterated that the best way to prevent COVID-19 from entering schools is to ensure that everyone eligible is vaccinated with two doses.