School District 27 superintendent Chris van der Mark is asking families to heed the advice of the government and public health officer regarding travel over spring break. (Tribune file photo)

SD 27 superintendent urges families to self isolate if travelling over spring break

At this point there currently are no plans to extend spring break: Van der Mark

Do not come back to school for 14 days if you choose to travel out of country over spring break.

That’s the message from School District 27 superintendent Chris van der Mark, sent to parents as the district heads into a two-week spring break Friday, March 13.

Van der Mark stated it is critical that everyone follow the directives of public health for the health of schools, students and families and for the broader role they play in our communities.

“Many of you will have made international travel plans for spring break. If families willingly travel outside of Canada against the advice of the provincial health officer, then we are urging students and parents to stay away from school for 14 days upon their return,” Van der Mark stated in the letter. “The provincial health officer is asking all British Columbians to comply with this travel ban as part of our civic duty to stem the spread of COVID-19 and we are hoping that all families will help us in our fight to stem the pandemic.”

Read More: B.C. calls on Trudeau to tighten border crossings for COVID-19

Van der Mark also noted school closures or an extended spring break is “not appropriate or advised at this time” by the provincial health officer.

“There currently are no plans to extend spring break. Public health officials and the Ministry of Education will be working with school districts during spring break to continue monitoring the pandemic and to consider any further measures that may be required.”

In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public health officer and government are advising:

• British Columbians should avoid all non-essential international travel, including to the United States.

• Anyone who travels outside Canada is being asked to stay away from school or work for 14 days upon return.

• Event organizers should cancel any gathering larger than 250 people.

Read More: Canada will ban cruise ships with over 500 people from docking until July

Read More: COVID-19: How the City of Williams Lake and School District 27 are responding to concerns

Deputy education minister D. Scott MacDonald also wrote a letter sent to parents Friday reiterating they voluntarily follow self-isolation protocol should they travel, wash hands frequently and stay home if sick.

“The Health Minister confirms there will be ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Education and education stakeholders over spring break to continue monitoring COVID-19 and BC’s response to it.”

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