(Black Press file photo)

SD68 cancels large events and international student field trips to limit COVID-19 exposure

There are no cases of COVID-19 in the school district

In a recent letter to parents, School District 68 announced measures the district is taking to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Following the announcement from Minister of Health, Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer, Bonnie Henry, SD68 is creating a COVID-19 Pandemic Plan built from the B.C. Pandemic Coordination plan and the B.C. Public Health guidance for schools and childcare programs.

International field trips over spring break have been cancelled and SD68 is monitoring future travel outside the province. SD68 Is also purchasing a second industrial disinfectant sprayer, additional cleaning materials, and installing hand sanitizer units at every school.

“I’m staying optimistic,” SD68 executive director of communications, Dale Burgos said. “With the directives from the provincial government we’re going to limit the exposure of this.”

Burgos said schools are thoroughly cleaned each year for spring break, but due to COVID-19, there will be a focus on cleaning touch surfaces like desks, door knobs, railings, and other items that are regularly touched.

Any events or gatherings with more than 250 people will be cancelled as per recommendations from the provincial government. This could include sporting events, school plays, assemblies, and fundraisers. A number of events have already been cancelled. Burgos said cancellations will be on a case-by-case basis.

There are no school closures planned for SD68 beyond the regular spring break. If a decision is made to close a school after spring break, parents will be contacted by the district or school principal.

“They’re looking at public events and anything to do with 250 people,” Burgos said. “People are now asking about school because there are more than 250 people in a school, but students will be in classrooms for the most part.”

Parents can excuse their children from class as a precaution if they choose to do so. Burgos said as it stands now, the teachers will help the students get the work they have missed.

No cases of COVID-19 have been reported in SD68. If a case is reported, the district will take direction from the provincial government on what action to take.

SD68 has set up a dedicated webpage: sd68.bc.ca/covid-19/ for information on COVID-19, which will be updated regularly.

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