From Sept. 10 to Dec. 18, approximately 700 students or staff in the Vancouver Coastal region has been diagnosed with COVID-19 since schools reopened.
The total population in the school system is of over 100,000.
Over 90 per cent of these cases have not resulted in any school-based transmission, VCH says.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) says its data shows a low rate of COVID-19 transmission in schools across the region in the first half of the school year.
Since schools reopened in September, VCH says it has not recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases among school-aged children relative to other groups.
Those aged 5-17 years of age accounted for only 6 per cent of VCH’s COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, despite representing 10 per cent of VCH’s population.
Evidence shows children are less likely to get infected with COVID-19, and less likely to experience severe symptoms if infected.
“We want educators, other school staff, parents/caregivers and students to feel reassured that schools are a safe and low-risk environment for COVID-19 transmission, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our schools and school districts,” said VCH Medical Health Officer Dr. Alex Choi said.
VCH also said the vast majority of affected students and staff contracted the virus at home or in social circumstances outside of school and links to schools were determined through contact tracing.
Students and staff who get tested must isolate while waiting for test results and continue to do so if they test positive. In addition, close contacts are also asked to self-isolate for 14-days.