Five schools in Nanaimo and Ladysmith have reported COVID-19 exposures. 

But Medical Health Officer Dr. Sandra Allison said the schools haven’t been the problem. She blames large social circles for the spread of the Coronavirus.

“We do investigations on every case and what we can tell is in the majority of cases, these exposures are happening in social circles outside of the school,” said Allison. “When there’s that much disease in the Lower Mainland and people are travelling, we know that the disease is showing up in town. The majority of cases were finding known case exposures because of very large circles of contact.”

School District 68 staff is working closely with health officials and Allison takes us through the process when exposures are discovered.

“We determine exposures based on when symptoms occur, the infectious period for a case is from two days before symptoms until ten days after, then we’ll talk to the school and say ‘this individual was at school during their infectious period and we identify close contacts that are high-risk and we exclude them,” said Allison.

Allison said an exposure involves one case of COVID-19 over a 14-day period, a cluster is more than one case, and an outbreak is more than two cases.

A list of the effective schools is available here.