School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Entire gym class at northern B.C. high school isolating after confirmed COVID case

Contact tracing by Interior Health led to the quarantine

An entire gym class is self-isolating for two weeks following the first confirmed COVID-19 exposures at the local high school in Williams Lake this week.

The quarantine comes following a news release Monday, Nov. 23, where School District 27 superintendent Chris van der Mark said Interior Health Authority (IH) confirmed a member of the school community tested positive for COVID-19.

That person is self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams.

By Wednesday, there were two known COVID-19 exposures at the school and contact tracing by IH resulting in the Grade 10 physical education class being told to self-isolate.

With known COVID cases in the community for a number of months now, albeit a low number, van der Mark said it was “just a matter of time” before a school would have an exposure to COVID.

“This is a really good reminder to double down and be vigilant,” van der Mark said. “It’s on us. Let’s do the best we can and make sure it doesn’t impact us negatively as a community.”

The safety and well-being of students, families and staff remains the district’s highest priority, he said, with strict health and safety protocols and procedures in place at the 700-student school.

van der Mark noted everyone should heed the directive of the provincial health officer to keep to immediate family at home, limit contacts outside of home and don’t travel outside the community if it is not necessary.

He believes being in schools poses a “significantly lower risk” than being in the community at large, noting 83 per cent of B.C.’s schools remain COVID-free.

At the board meeting Tuesday evening, van der Mark discussed COVID as part of his superintendent report citing that 27 school districts in the province remain COVID-free while 11 districts, such as SD27, have very few cases.

Currently face masks are required to be worn in common areas and hallways of schools, though the teachers’ union is pushing for a mask requirement in class. That mask policy hasn’t changed in Williams Lake, and there are no plans to close or alter how education is being delivered in SD27 schools right now.

Due to surging cases of COVID-19 in their province, the government of Alberta is shifting to an online education model for all students in grades 7 to 12 while schools in the Lower Mainland have also been impacted by the pandemic.

The superintendent is drafting a letter to students and guardians to be sent out later this week regarding the latest on the COVID situation, and said he plans to have IH host a third virtual town hall meeting in the near future to answer any questions around the topic.

On Wednesday (Nov. 25), IH reported 70 new cases overnight, for a total of 1,426, with 336 active cases and on isolation. Five people are in hospital, however, none are in ICU.

Read More: COVID-19 case confirmed at Lake City Secondary School, Williams Lake campus

Read More: Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

School District No 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Cheryl Dill visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Talking jobs, tourism and business with Cheryl Dill in Parksville

Podcast: COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on Vancouver Island

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read