An individual at Garibaldi Secondary School in Maple Ridge has tested positive for COVID-19 after coming into close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with a variant of the virus.

Fraser Health said it is working with the school to manage the COVID-19 exposure.

“This variant type of virus may spread more easily. The case with the variant does not attend Garibaldi Secondary School,” notes Fraser Health in a statement sent out on Sunday evening.

Fraser Health says it is now arranging for testing to take place on Monday for staff and students who may have come in contact with the school case.

Maple Ridge testing centre will be closed tomorrow to support the school testing. Only those students and staff who have been identified as close contacts of the positive school case will be tested and have been contacted.

“If you have not been contacted, there is no risk of exposure identified,” says Fraser Health. The school will remain open.

The health authority did not confirm whether the individual at the school was in contact with the South African or UK variant strains. There are confirmed cases of both strains in BC.

“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,” stated Fraser Health.

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