A faster-spreading COVID – variant first reported in the UK has been detected in positive cases at seven schools in BC Six of the schools are in the Surrey School District, while one more is in nearby Delta.
In response to news that a faster-spreading COVID – 15 variant first reported in the UK has been detected in positive cases at seven schools in BC, health officials say they have ramped up test screenings and an increase in cases is to be expected.
During a snap news conference called on Monday afternoon, Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Reka Gustafson said BC is now screening 35 per cent of of test samples for variants of concern , up from about per cent in January.
“Sometimes when we change our screening strategies we can have an increase in detections,” Gustafson told reporters.
“We must absolutely respond to them and we will continue to respond to them. “
Over the weekend, British Columbians learned that the variant first identified in the UK had been confirmed in six Surrey schools and one in Delta.
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Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside said Monday that testing is now underway to determine if the variants have spread through those schools. She said 15 teachers were tested on Sunday, and those tests all came back negative.
“Cases in schools mirror what is happening in our communities. So it was always a possibility that we would see variant exposures in schools,” Whiteside said.
WATCH: Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside discusses COVID – in BC schools