Chilliwack families are being asked to self isolate if they choose to travel to COVID-19 hot spots over the spring break. (Waldemar Brandt photo/ Unsplash)

Chilliwack students travelling overseas for spring break asked to self-isolate

School district asks families visiting China and Iran to stay home for 14 days upon return

Chilliwack families who travel to China or Iran over spring break are being asked to self-isolate once they return.

The Chilliwack School District issued a special notice on March 9 to families regarding COVID-19 and spring break travel. They note that spring break is a popular time to travel long distances, overseas, to visit with “family and friends, experience new cultures or simply to spend time with loved ones.”

But they are asking families to be aware of the Government of Canada’s travel advisories before taking those holidays, and to stay home for 14 days upon their return, to watch for symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

“In the past short while we have seen an increase in the number of positive cases for COVID-19 across the globe as well as in Canada, and the rate of infection is on the rise,” the letter from Rohan Arul-pragasam, Interim School Superintendent says. “We are currently facing a global challenge with the outbreak of COVID-19, and with increased local and international travel there is a greater propensity to be exposed to the novel coronavirus.”

He says the district has been monitoring the situation through the World Health Organization, the BC Ministries of Health and Education, Fraser Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control, as well as the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices and Travel Advice and Advisories with respect to international travel advisories.

“As such, given that students and staff safety is paramount and out of an abundance of caution, all international school field trips to France have been cancelled due to high concerns and risks regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 in the region,” he says.

READ MORE: Lower Mainland schools cancel overseas student trips due to coronavirus spread

They are advising families who plan to travel overseas for spring break to observe the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices where the following travel advisories have been issued effective March 4, 2020. They remind families that impacted areas may change and expand as the situation continues to evolve:

• Level 3 Travel Advisory (Avoid Non‐essential Travel) for China, Iran, Northern Italy;

• Level 2 Travel Advisory (Practice Special Precautions) for Japan, South Korea.

“We are also asking families who are travelling overseas to China and Iran to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to B.C., and to monitor closely for symptoms of illness as per the information provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control.”

The letter comes just hours after Fraser Health identified two Surrey schools that had to be cleaned entirely after it was discovered that they had been visited by patients with the coronavirus.

READ MORE: Fraser Health confirms COVID-19 case connected to Surrey high school


 

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