Independent Schools Update – March 11, 2020
Today Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 7 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including the first case on Vancouver Island, bringing the total number of cases in B.C. to 46. Here is today’s statement – https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0074-000470
SCHOOL CLOSURES – Important reminder on school closures: Decisions about school closures should made by public health officials in cooperation with respective independent school associations and the Ministry of Education. All schools should be following the school closure guidelines and protocols currently in place. Sharing our Pandemic Response Framework and Planning Guidelines again: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/healthyschools/pandemic_response_framework.pdf (We originally sent these guidelines out on Jan. 31st)
While there have been a small number of school closures in B.C. this week, medical health officers have not advised that those steps are necessary.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
TRAVEL ADVICE from the Provincial Health Officer: At this time, it is not necessary to cancel planned events, outings or trips to public locations in B.C. and Canada and to most places in the world. However, travellers should understand that as global efforts to contain COVID-19 continue, the availability of health care services in some areas may be limited and travel restrictions may be put in place suddenly.
People who are planning travel should check the latest travel notices and advisories on the Government of Canada’s website: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.
Cruise ships continue to be high-risk environments for transmission. The federal government has recommended that Canadians avoid all cruise ship travel due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
People arriving in Canada from Hubei Province, China and Iran and Italy are asked to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days and monitor closely for symptoms of illness. If any symptoms arise, connect with your primary care provider, local public health office or call 8-1-1.
British Columbians should monitor their health while they are travelling and after they return. If you have any symptoms at all of a cold or influenza, even if they’re mild, stay away from others. If you have been to areas, particularly where we know there has been transmission of COVID-19, then call your health care provider, 8-1-1, or public health. Always tell health care providers about recent travel if you become ill after returning to Canada.
- Information about COVID-19, including advice and guidance to schools, is regularly updated on the BC Centre for Disease Control site: http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID19_schools_childcare_guidelines.pdfPlease routinely check this site and its resources.
- All joint statements from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix are posted here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/health
- The Provincial Pandemic Coordination plan: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/reports-publications/pandemic-provincial-coordination-plan.pdf
- KIDS and COVID-19 QA:http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)#For–schools–and–childcare
- CBC Kids along with the PHO produced a kid-centric Q and A video about COVID-19: https://www.cbc.ca/kidsnews/post/watch-coronavirus-facts-versus-fiction
- Ministry of Health response plans – https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/pandemic-influenza
- Novel Coronavirus Q&A from HealthLinkBC: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus
- BC Centre for Disease Control: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)
- Government of Canada – Novel Coronavirus in China Travel Health Notice