Nearly 50 people associated with five different classes at Earl Marriott Secondary School in Surrey have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a letter from the school district's superintendent to members of the school community on Sunday.

In the letter, Surrey schools superintendent Jordan Tinney writes that the school district sent out several coronavirus exposure notices as winter break was approaching and into the break itself.

"We had some classes and individuals who were required to self-isolate over the holidays, which is not how we would want anyone to spend their winter break," Tinney writes in the letter.

"We have subsequently met with Fraser Health to learn more about those closing days and how we might review and adjust our plans as we open for January."

The letter goes on to outline "a few things" the school will be doing differently when classes resume, including reminding parents to complete their children's daily screening for COVID-19, encouraging mask use at secondary schools even in classrooms where they're not required, and adjusting protocols related to staff common spaces and physical education classes.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees for school support staff in B.C. posted Tinney's letter on Twitter and encouraged everyone involved in B.C. schools to "exercise caution, act responsibly and out of caring and compassion for others around you."

Thank you for your continued leadership on this serious issue, @jordantinney. Please, everyone, exercise caution, act responsibly and out of caring and compassion for others around you, including the @CUPE728 and @BCTF who are putting their health in your hands each day 1/2

— CUPE K-12 School Support BC (@cupek12bc) January 4, 2021