Fraser Health has released new data regarding the transmission of COVID-19 in Surrey schools highlighting that schools are safe for staff and students.
Fraser Health examined 2,935 COVID-19 cases reported between January and June 2021 and determined that 90% of school-associated COVID-19 cases in Surrey originated in households or the community, not in schools.
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Fraser Health also found that staff accounted for 11% of the total cases, with students making up 89%.
The primary takeaway from this release is that there has been minimal transmission of the virus in actual school settings in Surrey.
According to Fraser Health, approximately 3% of the overall school population in Surrey was reported to have COVID-19 during the study period.
“Our review show schools are safe for students, teachers and staff. Of the small minority of the school population that did get COVID-19, most of them acquired it at home or in the community and had limited spread within schools,” says Dr. Ariella Zbar, Medial Health Office for Fraser Health.
Health officials also suggested that variants of concern, which were more common after spring break, did not impact the size of clusters in schools, defined as two or more cases within a 14 day period at any given school.
“We know vaccination and other safety measures play a major role in stopping the spread
of COVID-19 in our communities and schools. Once staff immunization campaigns started,
there was a noticeable drop in cases among those 18 and older,” added Dr. Zbar.
He also pointed out that cases among students declined as cases fell in the community, which Fraser Health attributes to an increase in vaccine coverage.