A COVID-19 exposure has been reported at Shawnigan Lake School. (Citizen file photo)

A COVID-19 exposure has been reported at Shawnigan Lake School. (Citizen file photo)

UPDATED: Island Health reports COVID-19 exposure at Shawnigan Lake School

Shawnigan Lake School has been added to the list of schools in which staff and/or students have been exposed to COVID-19.

According to the Island Health COVID-19 school exposure list, the exposure at the private school occurred Jan. 18-20.

Previously, COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Chemainus Secondary (Jan. 4), a cluster at Duncan Christian School (Jan. 6-8, and Jan. 12-15), Quamichan Middle School (Jan. 4-5), Cowichan Secondary School (Jan. 5-7), and Alexander Elementary School (Jan. 13-15).

SEE RELATED: COVID-19 detected at Chemainus Secondary School

SEE RELATED: COVID-19 reported at three Cowichan Valley schools, Cowichan Tribes buses

At Saturday at 2:30 p.m., Shawnigan Lake School’s website and Facebook pages have no notices announcing the exposure.

By Saturday evening, however, a notice was posted and the school had confirmed it reached out to parents the night before.

“We were contacted this afternoon by an employee (non-teaching member of staff) to share that this member of staff has received a positive COVID-19 test,” wrote headmaster Richard Lamont in his Friday evening letter. Lamont went on to explain protocols and acknowledge the worry parents with children boarding at the school must feel.

“We understand that restrictions around our ability to communicate as quickly or as transparently as we normally would may cause some anxiety for parents, particularly those who live further afield and who are dependent on the School and on their child for accurate news and updates,” Lamont wrote. “Please rest assured that the overall safety and well-being of all our community members remain our top priority, and we are following our carefully documented exposure procedures to ensure that everyone remains safe and cared for.”

School is expected to continue as usual, with Lamont promising another update on Monday.

The school’s website features a comprehensive COVID-19 “emergency procedures and information” page full of protocol, updates, and provincial pandemic-related notices.

In one of those notices is an Infection Response Plan that outlines what the school would do in the event of an exposure.

“Any student with symptoms of COVID-19 needs to be tested and follow quarantine protocols (Boarding or Day student) until tests confirmed. Close contacts of suspected cases will be monitored through self isolation until a test result is available. Any staff or day student with symptoms needs to stay home and follow self- isolation/quarantine protocols. In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 the campus will be closed to any nonessential traffic and visitors.”

The plan went on to explain the plan for isolating infected students who live on campus as well as plans for if there is a community outbreak involving a significant number of students and staff.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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