Abbotsford/Chilliwack – As circumstances develop globally, the province is providing regular updates to British Columbians on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The B.C. Provincial Health Officer continues to advise that the risk to students, staff and school communities from the novel coronavirus outbreak remains low. Both the Chilliwack and Abbotsford School Districts takes direction from the Fraser Health Authority and is in regular communication with them, as well as the Ministries of Health and Education.
That said, In a letter sent to Abbotsford Students and Parents from Dr. Kevin Godden Superintendent of Schools : With many families choosing to travel internationally during Spring Break, we know that there may be increased risk of the virus spreading. As such, we are providing some guidelines for your consideration.
We are advising families to observe Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices to inform their decision making regarding upcoming holiday travel.
Currently, the following travel advisories have been issued as of March 5th, 2020:
Level 3 Travel Advisory (Avoid Non‐essential Travel) for China, Northern Italy, Iran;
Level 2 Travel Advisory (Practice Special Precautions) for Japan, South Korea.
Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to cancel a number of district‐sponsored trips to these locations. Families who have students registered for these trips will be receiving separate communication to that effect.
The BC Provincial Health Officer is now advising self‐isolation for 14 days for people who have been to China and Iran in the last 14 days.
As such, please note that if your family travels to any location with a Level 2 or Level 3 travel advisory during Spring Break, you may be asked to self‐quarantine your child prior to returning them to an Abbotsford school. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. We want to ensure parents, students and staff have time to adjust their plans accordingly. This is an evolving global situation, and as such we need to be prepared that between now and spring break there likely will be more changes to the situation. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
Concerning the Chilliwack School District, as of March 7, only one trip was cancelled (to France) and a blanket policy, similar to Abbotsford had not been put in place.