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

Nedeea Siwallace and her partner, Carlos Andy, with their children Shakira 14, Dre 10, and Tamacia 4 (photo submitted)
Local family shares their experience of COVID-19

Nedeea Siwallace and her partner decided that being honest was the best way to keep everyone safe

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Active COVID cases drop to four; schools re-open for face-to-face instruction

A total of 63 cases were recorded with 59 now out of isolation

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Joyce Cooper (left) said she had to set an example for Tsilhqot’in communities by sharing her COVID-19 positive results. (Photo submitted)
Tsideldel off-reserve member documents experience of COVID-19

We should all be supporting one another and not judging each other, says Joyce Cooper

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

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

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read