A low infection rate among students and staff means there have been only five cases of COVID-19 since September 2020 among Vernon schools.
Compared to the high numbers in Kelowna (there were eight listed as of Dec. 11), the slow rise in the North Okanagan is commended.
“Let us begin by thanking you for following the school district safety plans and keeping the COVID-19 infection rate low, both in the community and in our schools,” Vernon school board chair Gen Acton said in a letter to families this week. “I would also like to recognize and thank our teachers, administrators and support staff for the outstanding service they provide our students. COVID-19 has presented many challenges that our staff have faced with resilience and professionalism.”
As the numbers continue to rise, and public masks are mandatory, calls for school-wide masks are not being mandated.
“Masks are not mandatory in classes but many students and teachers have made the choice to wear them. We respect that choice,” superintendent Joe Rogers said. “Our students are doing an excellent job of wearing their masks in hallways and in crowed areas outside their cohort when they cannot maintain physical distancing.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry’s latest orders include:
- no play dates for children
- no outdoor gatherings, no social gatherings of any size at your home with anyone other than your household or core bubble
- suspension of all adult team sports
- suspension of youth games but practice and skill building can continue
- all non-essential travel should be avoided – do not travel to visit family or friends outside your bubble
“We are also fortunate that the community is also following Dr. Henry’s recent orders to wear their masks and reduce their contacts to their immediate family,” Acton said. “A low community infection rate means a low school infection rate.”