COVID-19 outbreak declared at Metro Vancouver school after 21 people test positive

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a Metro Vancouver private school after nearly two dozen people recently tested positive for the disease.

Fraser Health announced the outbreak Monday, saying 21 positive cases were identified among students and staff at Iqra Islamic School in Surrey. Details weren't given on how many of the cases were among students and how many were among staff.

The health authority says the school voluntarily closed on Friday. Now, with an outbreak declared, the school will remain closed while Fraser Health takes on the case and contact management. The health authority is working with the school as part of its outbreak response.

Nearly three dozen schools in Surrey have posted exposure warning notices in the past two weeks, with many spanning multiple days. No other outbreaks at schools have been posted on Fraser Health's website during that time.

The health authority, which has been the hardest hit in B.C. during the pandemic, is also reminding residents to keep monitoring for symptoms of the disease.

"It remains critically important for people living in the Fraser Health region to use the COVID-19 assessment tool and get tested as soon as you have COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones," Fraser Health's statement says.

Currently in B.C., anyone aged 12 and older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. To get a dose, residents need to register online.