VICTORIA, B.C. – During the weekly COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry explained how COVID-19 cases in schools would be tracked, and shared the most recent data around vaccinations.

Dr. Henry says health authorities will begin to post K-12 school ‘potential exposure events’ on their websites starting on September 28th.

Similar to last year, the school and dates of exposure will be posted if a person attended school while infectious, and there is an increased risk of transmission to the groups they were a part of.

Dr. Henry admitted there is usually a delay in public health being notified of a positive test, and it is important for parents to monitor their children for signs and symptoms of illness, and to keep them home if they are ill.

“What we are seeing is the trajectory and the level of cases among school-aged children reflects our overall community vaccination rates. So it’s protection in our community that protects our schools and protects our children,” said Henry.

Health Minister Adrian Dix updated the number of patients who had been transported from the Northern Health region to Metro Vancouver or the Island as a result of overburdened hospitals in the region. There have been 13 more patients transported out of the Northern Health region for a total of 25.

From September 19th to 25th, Dix says a total of 344 non-urgent surgeries were postponed as a result of the increased stress on B.C.’s healthcare system, including 11 in the  Northern Health Region.

Dr. Henry announced the Fraser East health service delivery area would begin stronger restrictions today, similar to what the Interior and Northern Health regions are currently under. The decision is a result of increased rates of transmission in communities.

Dix says, during the height of the third wave when there were around 10,000 active cases, the Province added contact tracers to help manage the high number of active cases.

Since the number of cases dropped through the summer, a number of those contact tracers shifted to vaccination clinics or acute care. As a result, there are 1,164 contact tracers right now and another 147 are planned, according to Dix.