An elementary school in Surrey has become the first in B.C. ordered to close due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
Seven new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at Cambridge Elementary School, dating back to mid-October, Fraser Health announced Saturday. The Surrey School District has been advised to close the facility for two weeks as a precautionary measure.
“We are sorry to have to take these steps which we know impact you and your family deeply,” superintendent Jordan Tinney wrote in a letter to staff and the school community, issued Saturday and posted online.
“Please note that the school will continue to work with our students to provide support for learning while they are at home.”
The school is scheduled to reopen on Nov. 30.
Tonight @FraserHealth declares an outbreak at Cambridge Elementary and closes the school for 2 weeks. An important message below for Cambridge community. Letters have gone to all staff/community. More information for all tomorrow. #sd36learn #surreybc @CityofSurrey pic.twitter.com/fRlO65UIpJ
— Jordan Tinney (@jordantinney) November 15, 2020
Among those battling the virus is the school’s music teacher, Darlene Lourenco, who has been moved to intensive care, according to an update on a GoFundMe launched in support of her family. Lourenco’s husband, Tony, also has the virus.
“Darlene is our beloved music teacher,” wrote Amy Bateman, the fundraiser’s organizer. “She has an amazing talent for teaching and shares her passion for music with our children daily. Even when schools closed in the spring, Darlene went above and beyond to create online music experiences for the families at home. She is loved so much by all who know her.”
The GoFundMe has raised over $21,000 since it was launched five days ago.
Two additional schools in the Fraser Health region have opted to “functionally close” for two weeks, even without an order from the health authority.
Six COVID-19-positive cases have been identified at Jarvis Elementary School in Delta. The Delta School District has opted to shut down for two weeks “due to the staffing challenges presented by the cluster.”
Fraser Health is also working with an independent school in New Westminster. Eight COVID-19-positive cases have been identified at Al-Hidayah School, which has advised Fraser Health that it will close for two weeks.
The Fraser Health region makes up the bulk of B.C.’s coronavirus case count. There have been nearly 13,000 confirmed cases in the region, including over 400 on Friday alone.
Fraser Health also declared outbreaks at three more long-term care facilities on Saturday: Kiwanis Care Centre, where a staff member has tested positive for the virus; George Derby Centre, where a resident has; and Jackman Manor, where three residents and one staffer are positive for COVID-19. The six infected individuals are currently in self-isolation at home.
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