Fraser Health is proactively implementing these new, aggressive actions immediately to protect our communities from COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants.
The new actions include:
• Effective immediately, we have expanded COVID-19 testing recommendations to include all high-risk contacts of individuals who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms. In addition, we have expanded use of Point of Care testing for specific clusters or outbreak settings.
• To prevent further transmission of the virus, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be asked additional questions about their exposures, their close contacts and their ability to self-isolate. In addition, Fraser Health Public Health contact tracing teams will check in more frequently to see how they are feeling and managing their illness.
• Immediate steps are being taken to streamline screening for variants so we can identify and notify positive cases more quickly.
Over the last few days, Fraser Health’s Public Health team has been working closely with the Surrey and Delta School Districts to manage COVID-19 and COVID-19 variant of concern exposures at multiple schools. With the new measures in place a range of actions were organized quickly depending on the exposure assessment, from rapid testing of a few close contacts to testing of several classes.
As this is a variant that is new to our communities and more easily transmissible, Fraser Health is working to identify any further connected variant cases to ensure immediate isolation and case management to prevent further transmission.
The variant strain can transmit more quickly and easily but does not seem to cause more severe illness, nor interfere with the effectiveness of vaccines, nor affect our ability to test for the virus.
We would like to thank the school districts for their support and partnership to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
To help keep our communities safe, we ask people to continue to follow Public Health measures and guidelines. Washing your hands, staying home when you are sick, physical distancing, wearing a mask, limiting social interactions, and avoiding non-essential travel are important for everyone at this time.
Please don’t wait to get tested even with mild symptoms. Book or drop by one of our collection centres which are operated in partnership with local Divisions of Family Practice.
People who have tested positive can complete a contact tracing form available on the Fraser Health website, which can be completed from their smartphone, tablet or computer. Those who do not have access to the online form will still receive a call from Public Health to obtain the same information needed for Public Health to begin case and contact management.
You can find information about test collection centres by visiting Fraser Health’s website.
To book a COVID-19 testing appointment, complete a COVID-19 test booking form.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit fraserhealth.ca/covid19.