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

Residents line up socially distanced at the Seedy Saturday event, held at the Lobelco Hall parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 3 with strict COVID-19 restrictions and precautions in place. (Nicole Kaechele photo)
Seedlings, plants and seeds offered at Seedy Saturday

“It was a fairly good turnout,” noted Elizabeth Howard

The Bella Coola Valley Arts Council (BCVAC) has recently received two awards totaling $40,000 from the province-wide British Columbia Arts Council, part of the StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The grants are to be used to stimulate local arts communities and to help them cope with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo submitted)
Bella Coola Valley Arts Council receives $40,000 for local projects

The grants will be used to stimulte local arts communities and help them cope with the pandemic

Cinematographer Louvens Remy recording Nuxalk Sputc Crew technician Scmlh (Jason Moody) driving a speed boat for sputc plankton sampling in the Bella Coola estuary. (Photo submitted)
Documentary to highlight importance of sputc

Sputc: We Shall Eat When the River is Full is a cinematic tale of wealth, loss and recovery

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Nearly completed cow boss statue commissioned by City of Williams Lake lost to fire

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

Spring flooding is causing damage at Tl’etinqox First Nation west of Williams Lake. (Isidore Harry photo)
UPDATE: Spring freshet causes road damage at Tl’etinqox First Nation

Other damaged sections of Highway 20 are also under repairs

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read