The Georgia Straight
Henry admits to limited data on COVID spread in schools
For many months, Dr. Bonnie Henry has been claiming that B.C. schools and daycares are safe. But in a May 10 briefing to reporters, the provincial health officer conceded that information isn’t always available regarding COVID-19 transmissions in these settings.
“In terms of the data we have, unfortunately, our surveillance data is limited in both those areas,” Henry said. “So we will present and continue to present what we do have.”
Henry also acknowledged that there’s no information available on exactly who transmitted the virus to whom in schools and daycare facilities. But, she added, there have been “deep dives” into some of these situations in schools in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health regions.
In addition, Henry noted that there have been some “small outbreaks in transmissions in childcare centres”. And she urged workers in these centres to get vaccinated.
“Childcare workers and school staff have been prioritized for immunization,” Henry emphasized. “And immunization has been very high in school staff across the province. Less so in people who work in childcare.”
Her comments came after the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control accepting that COVID-19 is spread through airborne transmission. Until April 22, Vancouver Coastal Health maintained on its website that “there is no reported evidence of airborne transmission”.
The Straight first raised the possibility of airborne transmission in July 2020 after an article on this topic appeared in the journal Nature.