Stage 3 Archives

Updates from SD73
 
May Updates
May 27, 2020

Dear Parents,

After several weeks of delivering education to our students remotely, we have followed the direction of our Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and the Ministry of Education and are preparing to welcome our students back to class, voluntarily and part-time on June 1st.

SD73 principals, staff, and district health and safety personnel have worked collaboratively to develop and implement strict safety protocols  for all staff and students to follow.  With these controls in place, we are confident that our schools are safe for our students and staff.

Our health and safety protocols include:

  • Health screening for staff, students, and visitors
  • Hand washing
  • Respiratory etiquette
  • Stay-at-home if sick guidelines
  • Routine cleaning of facilities and disinfection of surfaces
  • Physical distancing as appropriate
    • Maximizing physical distancing for teenagers
    • Minimizing physical contact for younger students
  • Accessing personal protective equipment for higher-risk tasks, such as personal care

On Friday, May 8, Premier Horgan announced BC’s Restart Plan and Minister Rob Fleming outlined the five stages of the Ministry of Education’s continuity of learning plans including implementing stage 3 by June 1st, which means we will provide:
  • in-class learning for children of essential service workers, students with disabilities, and priority learners who require additional support, five days a week;
  • voluntary part-time in-class instruction for kindergarten to grade 5 students two days a week, with 50% of students at a time in schools;
  • voluntary part-time in-class instruction for grades 6-12 students one day per week, with 20% of students at a time in schools; and,
  • dedicated remote and online learning opportunities for all students each Monday.
 
We are pleased to inform those families using buses that SD73 is able to continue to provide transportation services, under new safety protocols that support physical distancing and enhanced surface cleaning. The complete transportation guidelines are here

Effective June 1, SD73 will reopen all playground structures. Although the playgrounds will not be cleaned or disinfected, children will be required to wash their hands before and after they enter the school, avoid touching their face, and minimize physical contact.

The decision by the Ministry of Education to return to in-class instruction is guided by science and the thoughtful attention of Dr. Henry, which is why we are confident that all steps have been taken by our staff to ensure the safety of the children under our care.
 
Please contact your child’s teacher or school principal if you have any questions about the return of your child to school on June 1st.
 
Staff are really looking forward to re-engaging with students in classrooms, and it is our hope that the steps we are taking now will set the stage for a full return to school in September 2020.

Sincerely,
Alison Sidow
May 12, 2020 

K-5

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are pleased to let you know our staff is back in schools on May 19, 2020. While learning by distance also continues, we are making plans for a voluntary partial-week return to school for kindergarten to grade 5 students. We expect to be able to tell you by May 22, what the return to school date will be.

Schools are a critical part of BC’s Restart Plan, but returning to school at this point is voluntary, and only for a part of the week. Although every possible step is being taken to ensure it is safe to return, we understand that this may not the right choice for you or your children. If this is the case, rest assured, their learning by distance will continue.

Your child’s teacher will be in touch with you soon to discuss if your child is ready to come back to school. Knowing each family’s decision is important, because it will help us determine the classroom schedule.

The decision by Ministry of Education to return to in-class learning is guided by science and the thoughtful attention of our Provincial Health Officer. We know that beginning to re-engage our students and teachers now will set the stage for a full school restart in September 2020.

 May 8, 2020

Planning for a Partial Return to School

Dear parents and guardians,

Plans are being finalized for a partial-week return to school for kindergarten to grade five students as part of the Province’s restart plan. Once a date for a return to school has been determined by the Ministry of Education, we will inform you of your child's schedule for engaging in small group in-class instruction. 

This will be a slow, voluntary expansion initially involving our younger and priority students, however, we are also working on plans to support students in grades six through 12 in small groups. Health and safety measures are being developed in consultation with the Provincial Health Officer and will be made public prior to students and staff returning to schools.

We know there are mixed feelings for many families about sending their children back to school. Our intention is to implement careful and measured plans and to be responsive to any needs or concerns that may arise for individual families and students.

Once plans are finalized by our staff, they will be shared with families and students as soon as possible. Please watch our website and your email for more information on our return to school plan.

We are looking forward to reconnecting students with their teachers and wish to express our sincere appreciation to our school staff and families for their patience and support over the last six weeks.

Stay safe, 

Alison 

 March Updates

March 28, 2020

A Message from Rob Fleming & Andrea Sinclair

Dear parents and guardians,

School District No. 73 is working closely with the Ministry of Health, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control regarding COVID-19.

Please see the important Parent and Guardian Update from Rob Fleming, Minister of Education and Andrea Sinclair, President of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils to share with parents and guardians regarding COVID-19.

The District is adjusting its plans as the situation evolves, while the province continues its response to this pandemic. We are committed to keeping parents, students and the community informed about health and safety issues.

We also know parents are in need of support in keeping children engaged and learning, and that's why we have developed a Parent Resource Page to provide activities and tips. 

We will provide regular updates. Check our homepage sd73.bc.ca, or download our app to receive updates as we post them. You can download the SD73 Mobile App through Apple or Android.

Information about COVID-19, including advice and guidance to schools, is regularly updated on the BC Centre for Disease Control site

Stay safe everyone, please continue to follow the advice of the Provincial Health Officer regarding social distancing and we will get through this.

Take care,

Alison Sidow

 March 25, 2020
Working Together and Focussed on Safety to Keep Students Learning

Efforts by administrators, teachers and support staff throughout School District No. 73 are collectively focussed on keeping students and staff safe as many staff return from spring break to connect students to their learning during a world-wide health crisis.
 
“I am grateful for the presidents of the Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association (KTTA) and the Canadian Union of Provincial Employees (CUPE) 3500, whose calm leadership and commitment to their civic duty has been a tremendous asset to our district as we plan for continuity of learning during this critical time,” said Alison Sidow, Superintendent, School District No. 73.

While the majority of BC’s school districts had an additional week to implement the essential school and continuity of learning plans mandated by Minister of Education Rob Fleming on March 17, SD73 administrators have been working non-stop on a plan for teachers and staff who will assist the district’s nearly 15,000 students continue their learning from a distance.

“The KTTA is working jointly with the District and CUPE to ensure that educational opportunities are presented to students in a meaningful way,” said Laurel Macpherson, President of the KTTA. “Challenges come up on a daily basis but with the cooperation of all employee groups, we feel confident that we can find solutions and navigate this situation until the delivery of education can once again return to normal.”

Teachers will be in touch with their students to reconnect them to their learning by Monday, March 30, as they play a vital role in maintaining the services of government during this pandemic.   
 
Now and in the coming weeks the health and safety of our members, our students, and our communities are of the utmost importance,” said Corey Grabner, President, CUPE 3500. “I want to thank all employees of School District 73 for working so hard to keep everyone safe.  Together, one day at a time we will get through this.”  
 
Besides supporting students as certified education assistants, library assistants, and clerical staff, SD73’s 850 support workers include bus drivers, grounds personnel, red-sealed tradespersons, custodians, clerks, IT and communication workers, each with a role in ensuring the continuity of learning for students and safety for the community.

SD73 is committed to regular communication with families and students, and with staff in the district, Sidow says the situation is unprecedented and asks for the community’s patience as the district moves to distance learning for students. Schools remain closed to the public as school staff makes plans to address the learning needs of students over the next several months.

 March 23, 2020

School District 73 is Closing all Play Structures 

To encourage compliance with social distancing measures, School District No. 73 is closing all play structures at school grounds effective immediately. 

Closure signage is being installed in the next few days at the play structures at elementary schools throughout the district. The fields and play courts at school grounds are not closed, however, social distancing signage will be posted. This includes school playgrounds in Savona, Clearwater, Barriere, Westwold, Chase and Logan Lake. 

“Schools are closed, our students are at home,” said Alison Sidow, Superintendent. “We are taking these additional steps to limit groups from gathering on the play structures, courts and fields to protect our students, their families, and our community.” 

SD73 has been in contact with the City of Kamloops the City’s play structure closure and has been advised that Bylaw Services will be closely monitoring social distancing at all City parks and other public gathering areas. If social distancing practices are not being adhered to, the District may close its playfields and courts in the near future. 

 March 22, 2020
Schools remain closed to the public as School District No. 73 makes plans next week with school staff to address the learning needs of students over the next several months.

Principals and managers will be reaching out to staff starting March 23 after the regular one-week spring break to provide them with a schedule for attendance to ensure social distancing measures are followed. Additionally, the district has scheduled a minimum of one custodian during the day for continuous cleaning and disinfecting, and additional support staff will be reassigned exclusively for surface cleaning.

“We are asking parents to please reassure your children that their teacher will be in touch with them very soon with a plan to reconnect them to their learning,” said Alison Sidow, Superintendent. “These are challenging times for us all, but I am confident that our amazing and dedicated staff will have many innovative ideas to ensure the children in our care continue to learn.”

SD73 is also requesting parents to ensure their children are practicing social distancing. “We are taking tremendous efforts to protect our students and staff at this time, yet many youth are gathering in large groups at beaches, in the outskirts of town, and on the playgrounds despite the advice from the Provincial Health Officer,” said Sidow.

The district is working on an expedited plan to have most of its school-based staff work from home. This option, however, is not possible for everyone. Additional precautions have been taken for employees who will remain on their regular work schedule including custodians, maintenance, IT, HR, communication, and finance staff who are doing everything they can to keep the organization running safely and smoothly.

“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all of us to remain calm, to be safe, and to be kind to each other during this these unsettling times,” said Sidow, in a message she sent to all staff on Sunday, March 22.  

“I have been assured by a Medical Health Officer from Interior Health, that there are no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in either our staff or our students at this time and I applaud those who have self-isolated when experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms as recommended by our Provincial Health Officer.” 

In the wake of the news that in-classroom instruction was suspended, the district has been developing a continuity of learning plan to ensure students remain connected to their teachers and continue to learn. There is a particular focus on preparing grade 12 students for graduation, protecting vulnerable learners, and ensuring the children of essential workers are supported. 

As preparations are underway to support student’s learning from a distance, schools will not be open to students or the public. Please do not return to school to pick up resources or personal effects unless contacted by your child’s teacher or principal. A schedule will be prepared by each school to allow for the safe pick up of resources and personal belongings that follows the social distancing guidelines set out by the Provincial Health Officer.

 March 19, 2020
Continuity of Plan for SD73 Students

Dear parents and guardians, 

We understand there are many questions about what comes next for your family, our students, and our staff in the wake of the news that in-classroom instruction has been suspended. We have a few answers for you today, and we will have more information in the coming days.

Over the last two days, we have been developing a continuity of learning plan to ensure students remain connected to their teachers and continue to learn. We are especially focused on preparing grade 12 students for graduation, protecting our vulnerable learners, and ensuring the children of our essential workers are supported. 

Our Continuity of Education Plan requires the input and participation of staff in all our schools.  Together, during the week of March 23, we will put a plan in place to reconnect students with their learning by March 30, and reconnect vulnerable students with food programs by April 6.

As we prepare to support student’s learning from a distance, schools will not be open to students or the public. Please do not return to school to pick up resources or personal effects unless contacted by your child’s teacher or principal. A schedule will be prepared by each school to allow for the safe pick up of resources and personal belongings that follows the social distancing guidelines set out by the Provincial Health Officer.

We are grateful for the efforts of our healthcare professionals and first responders and we are working on plans to open some schools for children of parents who are performing these essential services.  We ask for your patience as our planning team works through the details of this plan with the Ministry of Education.

If you are considered an essential worker by the Province of BC, and are a parent of students in grades K to 5, your principal will provide you with additional information to ensure you are able to respond to critical civic services during the pandemic. Our goal is to have in-school support for essential workers during regular school hours operational by Monday, April 6.

We appreciate your understanding. We know you have a lot of questions about this rapidly changing situation. We are committed to keeping you informed on a daily basis.

Please take care of yourselves, and take some time to enjoy an extended spring break.

 March 17, 2020

SD73 Suspends In-class Instruction

A Letter to Parents and Guardians,

The British Columbia Government is suspending in-classroom instruction for all k-12 students in the province.  As you are aware, the situation is rapidly evolving, and we are committed to keeping everybody informed with regular updates.

As outlined by the Minister of Education this afternoon students in SD73 will not be returning to schools on Monday, March 23.  We ask all parents to arrange for the supervision of their children while classes are suspended.

We wish to reassure families that a plan to address continuity of learning for students is being developed and will be made public shortly. This plan will focus on ensuring students remain connected to their teachers and continue to learn. We are especially focused on ensuring grade 12 students are prepared for graduation, and that our most vulnerable students are protected.

In addition, we are also planning to open some schools for children of parents who are performing essential services in our communities – like medical health professionals, first responders, and pharmacists.

Along with the Ministry of Education, we are committed to ensuring that every eligible student will graduate and that every student will receive a final mark for the school year.

The health and safety of our students remain our most pressing concern during the COVID-19 crisis.  

Thank you for continuing to take the steps needed to protect yourselves, your families and the community. 

 March 13, 2020
COVID-19 continues to affect more countries and communities closer to home. With this week’s World Health Organization announcement of a pandemic, we know many of you may be experiencing a growing level of personal concern. During this time of heightened concern it’s our priority to keep you informed and well, and share some of the latest information we have about COVID-19 as we head into Spring Break next week.

As a school district we are taking action. Through our pandemic planning committee, we are in daily communication with the Ministry of Health and local public health authorities. We are carefully following all instruction provided by official authorities and monitoring the daily impact of COVID-19 in British Columbia and globally.

Our health authorities provide us daily updates on the situation, and continue to stress that there are steps we can take to minimize the impact of the virus, including the simplest of  all, which is washing our hands regularly.

Yesterday, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) advised that schools will not be closed at this time. We will be working with the Ministers of Health and Education during Spring Break to continue monitoring the pandemic and SD73’s response. At this time no school district has made the decision to close and any decision to do so would come after a direction from the Minister of Education.

The PHO has also advised against all non-essential travel outside Canada, including to the United States.  If you do travel outside of Canada, then you must self-isolate and stay away from school or work for 14 days upon return. We are asking our community to carefully consider their out of country travel plans.

Our efforts to date have included a focus on prevention to minimize the risk to students and staff throughout the district. We have increased cleaning frequency of high-touch surfaces in high-traffic areas, posted more hand hygiene reminders, and provided guidance on travel for staff and students. In addition, SD73 will be cancelling all gatherings and events that would have more than 250 people in one room to accommodate social distancing.  

We are committed to providing accurate information through these email communications and  will post updates as relevant direction from government authorities becomes available. There is a “frequently asked questions” or FAQ, posted on our website to address your questions and to provide additional information as the situation evolves. We will also keep you posted through our social media channels, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To follow updates through our App, download our  SD73 Mobile App (for free) through Apple or Android .

We understand that this is an unsettling time for everyone. Please be assured that we will be working closely with authorities through Spring Break and taking our responsibility in mitigating the potential effects of COVID-19 very seriously. All of us play an important role in keeping ourselves and our community safe during this difficult time

 March 12, 2020
Late this afternoon the BC Government advised against all non-essential travel outside of Canada due to the growing COVID-19 outbreak. Anyone who travels outside Canada will be required to stay home from work or school for 14 days upon their return to the province. School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) will be providing more information tomorrow about what this means for students and their families, and for SD73 staff. We will provide a more detailed update as soon as the information is made available by the medical health officer and the Ministry of Education.
 March 6, 2020 
Student Group Travel at Spring Break Cancelled

Out of an abundance of caution, School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) has cancelled the school group tours for students planning to visit Europe during spring break. Read more here.

February Updates

 Feb. 24, 2020 
Feeling Sick? Please Stay Home

If you are asking yourself if you are well enough to go to work or school, we are asking you to stay home. Read more here.

 Feb. 3, 2020
The Province of BC continues to advise school districts that the risk to students, staff and school communities from the novel coronavirus remains low. Read more here.
 Updates from the British Columbia Government
 
May Updates
 
May 25, 2020

British Columbia’s 61,000 Grade 12 graduates, along with kindergarten to Grade 11 students, will be the guests of honour at a special virtual graduation and end-of-school celebration. The WE Celebrate: Class of 2020 event will showcase some of B.C.’s best known singers, athletes and performers.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 12 new cases over a two-day reporting period (5 new cases Sunday, 7 new cases today) in B.C., bringing the total number of cases of COVID-19 to 2,530. The total number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in B.C. is 2,102. A joint statement will be posted on the Ministry of Health newsroom.

May 19, 2020
The Provincial Health Officer is looking for your help as Dr. Henry surveys British Columbians on their own personal response to COVID-19. You can participate in the survey here: Your Story, Our Future.
May 15, 2020
Part time return to school for K to 12 students to begin on June 1. View news release here.
 May 6, 2020
Premier John Horgan, joined by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, announced B.C.’s Restart Plan. View the news release here

As part of the plan, the province has outlined the Ministry of Education’s five stage approach to supporting students, families and staff. Here is the backgrounder - Scroll down to page 3 to see Education.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Dix, announced 23 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., bringing the total number of cases to 2,255.  The total number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in B.C. is 1,494. The joint statement is now posted on the Ministry of Health newsroom.

 April Updates
 
April 7, 2020
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 25 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases to 1291.  There are now 805 people that have fully recovered, that’s 62% recovery rate. Joint statement can be found here.
 April 6, 2020
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 63 new cases over a two-day period (26 new cases from Sunday, and 37 new cases today) of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases to 1266.  There are now 783 people have now fully recovered, that’s 62% recovery rate. Joint statement can be found here.
April 1, 2020
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 53 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases to 1066. There are now 606 people that have fully recovered, that’s a 57% recovery rate. Joint statement can be found here.

The Ministry of Education has secured and funded licences for the application Zoom for all K-12 public and independent schools in B.C. This will allow consistent access for educators who choose to use it, giving them more ways to communicate with students and parents. Read more here.

March Updates
 
March 31, 2020

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 43 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases to 1013. There are now 507 people that have fully recovered, that’s a 50% recovery rate. Joint statement can be found here.

Ministry of Children and Family Development, are helping essential service workers find child care. For more information about this news release, read more here.

March 30, 2020
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 86 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases to 970. There are now 469 people that have fully recovered. Joint statement can be found here.
March 27, 2020

Ministry of Education launched Keep Learning website, so families can find ideas for everyday educational activities, links to free learning resources, as well as how to help children learn and how to ensure their wellbeing while they’re at home. Even so, the ministry reminds us that teachers and schools still have primary responsibility for continuous learning. Please see news release.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 67 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases to 792. There are now 275 people that have fully recovered from COVID-19 in B.C. Joint statement can be found here.

March 26, 2020

Premier Horgan and Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced they are using extraordinary powers under a state of provincial emergency to keep British Columbians safe, maintain essential goods and services, and support the Province’s ongoing response to novel coronavirus. They announced a series of ministerial orders to ensure a co-ordinated response to COVID-19 across all levels of government for the duration of the provincial emergency. For a list of new essential services in B.C. Read more here.

Ministry of Education released a Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs) document in regards to “Continuity of Learning in the K-12 education system”. Please see Ministry of Education FAQ.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 66 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases to 725.  Note: 186 people have now full recovered from COVID-19. Joint statement can be found here.

March 25, 2020

Parent Resources:

For parents and guardians, a new government website has been launched with up-to-date non-clinical information on COVID-19. British Columbians can also use the new provincial phone service by calling 1- 888-COVID19, available seven days a week from 7:30AM to 8PM, with information in over 110 languages. Specific public health questions re: COVID-19 should be directed to your local health authority for response.

B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan:

On March 23, the provincial government announced B.C.’s COVID-19 action plan. The COVID-19 Action Plan is government’s first step to provide relief to people and businesses in British Columbia. The plan dedicates $2.8 billion to help people and fund the services they need to weather the crisis; $2.2 billion will provide relief to businesses and help them recover after the outbreak. B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan builds on the federal government’s COVID-19 economic plan and boosts supports for British Columbians who are worried about paying their bills and staying afloat.

Ministry of Health Joint Statement:

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 42 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases to 659. Joint statement can be found here.

March 24, 2020
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 145 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases in B.C. to 617. Joint statement can be found here.
March 23, 2020
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 48 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases in B.C. to 472. 100 of the 472 cases are considered recovered. Joint statement can be found here.
March 20, 2020
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 77 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases in B.C. to 348. Joint statement can be found here.
March 19, 2020

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 40 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases in B.C. to 271. The joint statement will be posted later this afternoon, on the Ministry of Health newsroom here.

Global BC is hosting a town hall live at 6:30 pm tonight. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will take questions from the public. More information can be found here.

March 18, 2020

B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency in to support public health efforts to combat COVID-19 and to ensure resources can be coordinated and distributed between all levels of government and further ensure people have access to necessary goods. Please see media release.

March 17, 2020

In-class Suspension Instruction in all Schools Until Further Notice

New call line 1-888-COVID19 for non-health related calls, including information regarding Employment Insurance.

Self-assessment tool: https://Covid19.thrive.health

For information regarding financial assistance for Canadians abroad: https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2020/03/government-of-canada-to-provide-financial-assistance-to-canadians-abroad.html

March 16, 2020

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"We are deeply saddened to announce that three people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recently passed away, all of whom were residents of the Lynn Valley Care Home. We offer our heartfelt condolences to their loved ones and the staff who cared for them during this difficult time.”

New cases of COVID-19: 30, for a total of 103 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are in the Vancouver Coastal, Fraser, Interior and Island health regions.

A significant number of new cases are related to the Pacific Dental Conference 2020 held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on March 6 and 7, 2020. Anyone who attended this event is asked to self-isolate until March 22, 2020.

Additional steps to address the changing situation in B.C. and ensure our health-care system is best positioned to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic include:

Moving all hospitals in the province to Outbreak Response Phase 2. This means hospitals will undertake only urgent and emergency procedures and will postpone all non-urgent scheduled surgeries. Hospitals will review operating-room capacity daily to prioritize urgent and emergency cases. 

Moving Lions Gate Hospital in the Vancouver Coastal Health region to Outbreak Response Phase 3. This means the hospital will accept only emergency patients. Lions Gate Hospital is also preparing to open a dedicated COVID-19 unit to provide care to those with the virus.

“These measures will assist hospitals to redeploy and train essential service health-care providers on critical care related to COVID-19 to ensure sufficient medical supplies for patients and staff who need them most, and to further increase capacity to respond to the potential for a surge of COVID-19 patients requiring acute care.”

Pharmacies are advised to provide patients with a prescription refill or an emergency supply of their medications if needed. This will give physicians more time to care for patients with acute care needs. British Columbians are asked to respect this temporary arrangement and are reminded that there is no need to stockpile medication.

“To further enhance the availability of physicians for all British Columbians, the Province will provide physicians compensation for providing virtual-care services. We have also requested all health regulators to begin emergency registration of non-practising or retired health-care professionals, including professionals from other jurisdictions and the armed forces.”

Visitors in long-term care are restricted to essential visits only. Essential visits include compassionate visits for end-of-life care and visits that support care plans for residents based on resident and family needs, for example, families who routinely visit to provide assistance with feeding or mobility.

The Province has created a dedicated phone service to provide British Columbians non-medical information about COVID-19. This includes the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing, as well as access to support and resources from the provincial and federal governments.

British Columbians can reach service representatives seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., by calling 1 888 COVID19. Information is available in more than 110 languages.

“We have also taken additional action to enhance social distancing and limit transmission. These efforts are not forever, but they are important for now.”

The Province has issued a new order prohibiting all public gatherings of more than 50 people. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings and other similar events. 

All casinos have been ordered to close until further notice to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This order came into effect 11:59 a.m. today.

The Province is also consulting with education stakeholders on potential recommendations for school operations following spring break.

March 12, 2020

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 7 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., bringing the total number of cases in B.C. to 53. 

SCHOOL CLOSURES - Important reminder on school closures: Decisions about school closures should made by public health officials in cooperation with school districts and the Ministry of Education. 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 Provincial Health Officer (PHO) announced new directives and measures today:

The PHO advises that closing schools is not appropriate or advised at this time. Health Minister Dix added, public health officials will be working with stakeholders in the education sector during spring break to continue monitoring the pandemic and B.C.’s response to it.

The PHO is advising against all non-essential travel outside Canada, including to the United States.  She adds that if you do travel outside of Canada, then you must self-isolate and stay away from school or work for 14 days upon return.

Gatherings and events larger than 250 people, should not be held or should be cancelled.

Workplaces are urged to think about ways to create space for people, to accommodate social distancing and develop solutions to allow staff to work from home.

March 11, 2020

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.

SCHOOL CLOSURES - Important reminder on school closures: Decisions about school closures should made by public health officials in cooperation with school districts and the Ministry of Education. All schools should be following the school closure guidelines and protocols currently in place. 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.

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.

March 9, 2020
Today and over the weekend a total of 11 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported, bringing the total to 32. The Provincial Health Officer announced today that one person, a man in his 80s, has passed away. Of the total 32 cases, four people have fully recovered, three people are in hospital in acute care, and the 24 remaining cases are recovering, in good condition, at home.

See joint statement from Monday March 9, announcing five new cases, and the first death from COVID-19 in B.C. - https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0068-000423

See joint statement from Saturday March 7, announcing six new cases of COVID-19 - https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0064-000413  

Surrey School District

On the weekend, Fraser Health notified the Surrey School District that a member of the Sullivan Heights Secondary community is a confirmed case of COVID-19. This person was asymptomatic during their time at the school; so the risk to the school population is minimal.

The district was also notified by Fraser Health over the weekend that an individual, who was diagnosed with COVID-19, had recently been in Serpentine Heights Elementary as part of a community use rental. Because the school community was not in contact with the affected individual, Fraser Health has advised that that the risk to our school community is low.

The district initiated a deep clean protocol in both schools over the weekend in preparation for classes on Monday.

The risk to the public is low and those who need to be aware of possible exposure have been contacted.

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. Cruise ships continue to be high-risk environments for transmission. Today the federal government has recommended that Canadians avoid all cruise ship travel due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

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.

Useful Links

Government Statements

  • All joint statements from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix.
  • Mar. 9 joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Mar. 7 joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Mar. 6 statement from Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
  • Mar. 5 joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Mar. 4, joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Mar. 3, PM joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Mar. 3, AM joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Mar. 2, joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Feb. 25, joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Feb. 24, joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Feb. 20 joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Feb. 19 joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Feb. 14 joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Feb. 6 joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Feb. 4 joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Feb. 3 joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer.

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