Special Update - Coronavirus

Posted On Monday February 03, 2020

Update for Feb. 13: The Province of BC continues to advise school districts that the risk to students, staff and school communities from the novel coronavirus COVID-19 (previously called (2019-nCoV) outbreak remains low. Please be assured that the Ministry of Education and the School District continue to be in close contact with public health officials at all levels of government to assess the risk of COVID-19 and other illnesses, such as colds and flu.  Detailed information about COVID-19 from Interior Health can be found here.  

During this time of heightened awareness around the new virus, it is important not to make assumptions about the risk of students or staff based on their ethnicity or travel history when it comes to the spread of illness.

And while the COVID-19 may be new, the age-old advice to reduce the risk of colds, flu, and other illnesses and infections continues to apply:

Please continue to:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • Do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  •  Stay home if you are sick and away from others so you don’t pass it on.

Thank you for your patience and understanding regarding this worldwide health concern. Your cooperation and diligence in helping prevent colds and flu go a long way to keeping all of our students and staff healthy.

 

 

Update for Feb.3, 2020: the B.C. Provincial Health Officer continues to advise Superintendent of Schools, Alison Sidow, that the risk to students, staff and school communities from the novel coronavirus outbreak remains low.

The Ministry of Education understands that school district and independent school staff, students and communities may have questions about coronavirus. Please know that the Ministry is in regular communication with the Ministry of Health and provincial and local health authorities to make public health decisions, and to ensure students and school/district staff are kept informed and safe. The Ministry will continue to be in close contact with public health officials and, with that in mind, would ask you to ensure that no assumptions are made about the risk of students or staff based on their ethnicity or travel history.

Misinformation regarding coronavirus is starting to circulate on social media. We encourage students, staff and their families to refer to official sources. In B.C., the latest official updates are located on the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

As well, a new toll-free phone number (1-833-784-4397) has been established to answer questions from Canadians about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Service is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST until January 29 and from 7 a.m. to midnight EST starting January 30.

Reducing the Risk
The BC Centre for Disease Control recommends that to reduce the risk of exposure to novel coronavirus, individuals employ the same measures that are taken in relation to colds and flu:

• Wash one’s hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water (it is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection).
• Practice other good hygiene habits: do not touch one’s face/eyes/mouth with one’s hands and cover one’s mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing (ideally with a      disposable tissue or the crease of the elbow).
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched workspace surfaces.
• Maintain good general health (eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise in moderation).
• Stay home if sick.

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