Information for parents/guardians/staff: COVID-19

Category: DistrictSchool

Update – April 2, 2020

Today, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 55 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. bringing the total number of cases to 1121.  Note: 641 people have now fully recovered that’s a 57% recovery rate. The joint statement will be posted on the Ministry of Health newsroom later today – https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/health

Useful Links

Update – April 1, 2020

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. https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0027-000608

April 1 – Updated questions and answers on the continuity of learning from the Ministry of Education

April 1 – Message from Delta School District:

Please answer you phone: Teachers will begin reaching out to students this week. Please answer your phone even if there’s no caller ID or it’s an unfamiliar number. Thank you!

Update – March 31, 2020

The Ministry of Children and Family Development, released this information bulletin today, “Province helps essential service workers find child care” that includes an update for K-12 parents too. https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020CFD0017-000599

Update March 27, 2020

Delta School District: March 27 Update from Doug Sheppard

Joint letter for Parents from Minister Fleming and the BCCPACMarch 27 Ministry of Education letter
March 27 Ministry of Education letter (French Translation)
March 27 Ministry of Education letter (Chinese Translation)
March 27 Ministry of Education letter (Punjabi Translation)

Update – March 26, 2020

Today, 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. Here is the news release – https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0020-000568. Once you have clicked on this link, scroll down to see the new list of essential services in B.C.

Update March 24

Delta School District : Message to parents and guardians re. closure of playgrounds and social distancing guidelines
https://www.deltasd.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/03/March-24-Superintendent-message-to-parents.pdf

Update March 20

Delta School District: School playgrounds closed: https://www.deltasd.bc.ca/news-events/news/school-playgrounds-now-closed/

Delta School District: Facility rentals cancelled until May 1: https://www.deltasd.bc.ca/news-events/news/facility-rentals-cancelled-until-may-1/

Update March 17

Minister Fleming’s announcement re. suspension of classes

Delta School District’s announcement to parents/guardians

Update March 13

Ministry of Education letter to Parents/Guardians and Staff

French translation
Chinese translation
Punjabi translation

Delta School District Update – March 13:

Frequently Asked Questions  – Information for Parents/Guardians and Students from Delta School District

March 11: Message for Parents/Guardians from Delta School District

We are aware of a letter circulating on social media stating that there is a report of COVID-19 at Seaquam Secondary. Please note – the Medical Health Officer from Fraser Health has confirmed that this is not an authentic letter, and that currently there are no known cases or exposures of COVID-19 at Seaquam Secondary, or at any of the schools in our district.

Fraser Health would notify the school district immediately if there was a risk that someone had a confirmed case of the virus OR if someone had been exposed to another person who was confirmed as having COVID-19. In such a situation, we would be advised by Fraser Health and we would follow their direction as to next steps.

As stated by the provincial government, the risk of spread of this virus in B.C. communities remains low at this time. In B.C., Canada and many other countries, we continue to be in active containment mode to detect cases and respond to prevent the virus from spreading in the community.

March 5: Message from Doug Sheppard, Superintendent of Schools, Delta School District :
 Superintendent letter to families regarding international travel

February 28: Message for parents and guardians 

Dear parents, guardians, and families,

This week all school districts in the province received guidance from the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control regarding measures for preventing and controlling respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, in schools and childcare facilities.

The Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry has recently stated to the public on February 25 that, “the risk of spread of this virus within British Columbia continues to remain low at this time.”  We wanted to ensure you had up to date information about the measures for preventing and controlling respiratory viruses and how they are being implemented in our district. The information will also let you know what steps you can take at home.

Prevention
There are two important ways to prevent and control respiratory viruses in school settings.

The first is for students and staff who are ill with respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, and/or muscle aches) to stay home from school. If your child is not feeling well, we ask that you keep them home so that they can rest and recover. As always, remember to inform the school of the absence.

The second way to prevent and control respiratory viruses is the consistent practice of good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. Good respiratory etiquette includes covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues in a plastic-lined waste container, followed by hand hygiene. Hand hygiene is the washing of hands with plain soap and water, which is effective at removing visible soil as well as viruses.

Children in the school setting should clean their hands:

  • before leaving home and on arrival at school
  • after using the toilet
  • after breaks and sporting activities
  • before food preparation
  • before eating any food, including snacks
  • before leaving school

If you have a younger child, help them with hand hygiene. In schools, this supervision will be provided by teachers.

REMINDER: Masks are not necessary for people who are not experiencing symptoms. In children in particular, masks can be irritating and may increase touching of the face and eyes, which increases the risk of infection.

Cleaning and Disinfecting
Regular cleaning and disinfecting of objects and high-touch surfaces (e.g. door handles, water fountain push buttons) helps prevent the transmission of viruses.

The school district ensures daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces at all of its school sites.

NOTE: Although water fountain knobs and push buttons will be cleaned daily, consider providing your child with a filled water bottle so that they do not have to drink directly from the mouthpiece of the fountain.

Food Sharing
Students should not be sharing food, utensils, dishes, and water bottles or drink containers. Although this practice is important for preventing exposures to allergens, it is equally important in reducing virus transmission between children.

Psychological Considerations
A new virus such as the COVID-19 can create anxiety and be difficult for students/children to understand, especially if someone in their school or family is sick, or they see or hear troubling messages on the radio, internet or television. It is normal for children to feel worried and nervous and have questions.

You can reassure your children that they are safe and that there are many things they can do to stay healthy:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Cough and sneeze into arm or tissue.
  • Stay home if they are not feeling well.
  • Keep hands away from face and mouth.
  • Stay healthy by eating healthy foods, keeping physically active, and getting enough sleep.

In addition, the Provincial Health Officer has released new Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 for Children and Students. The FAQs provide more information on COVID-19 – including symptoms, prevention practices and additional resources – as well as guidance related to staying home from school, wearing masks and supporting friends/classmates who are worried about the coronavirus.

February 7: The Provincial Health Officer has written a letter to parents and guardians within the school system. Please read this letter here: Letter to Parents_Feb 7 

January 29: Delta School District Update

The B.C. Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced on January 28 that the first case of novel coronavirus has been confirmed in B.C. Further details from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education are available here.

We understand our students and staff may have questions about how Delta School District is responding.

We can assure you that Delta School District is in regular communication with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Fraser Health to make public health decisions, and to ensure its students and employees are kept informed and safe. We will continue to be in close contact with Fraser Health medical health officers and, with that in mind, would ask that you do not make assumptions about the risk of students or staff based on their ethnicity or travel history.

Inaccurate news regarding coronavirus is starting to circulate on social media. We would encourage students, staff and their families to refer to official sources such as the BC Centre for Disease Control for the latest information and updates: http://www.bccdc.ca/

Reducing the risk

The BC Centre for Disease Control recommends that to reduce the risk of exposure to novel coronavirus, employ the same measures that are taken in relation to colds and flu:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water (it is the single most effective way of reducing infection spread).
  • Practice other good hygiene habits: do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with your hands, and cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough (ideally with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched workspace surfaces.
  • Maintain good general health (eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise in moderation).
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • A new toll-free phone number (1-833-784-4397) has been established to answer questions from Canadians about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Service is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time until January 29 and from 7 a.m. to midnight starting January 30.

Further information about novel coronavirus is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

All statements from the Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Officer and B.C. COVID-19 Response Updates can be found here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/health