Washing your hands frequently and staying home when you’re feeling ill is far more effective than facemasks in controlling the spread of a virus.

Some international Comox Valley School District trips cancelled due to coronavirus

Senior management has been monitoring the situation carefully both domestically and internationally.

Following travel advisories for areas affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) issued by the Government of Canada, the Comox Valley School District has cancelled some international travel for its students.

SD71 spokeswoman Mary Lee explained senior management has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation carefully both domestically and internationally over the past few weeks, and trips identified by the government as being of higher risk to exposure including China and Italy have been cancelled.

“The trip to Germany is being closely monitored with a final decision likely early March,” she noted in an email. “We will continue to monitor travel advice and advisories in accordance with the Government of Canada.”

RELATED: B.C. confirms 8th case of COVID-19; 1,000 tested for novel coronavirus

Lee added the school district has restored supplies of hand sanitizer at all of the school sites.

“The best defence is to continue to educate staff, students and visitors to follow well-established hygiene practices, including handwashing, coughing into your elbow and staying at home if the following are experiences within the past 24 hours: fever, vomiting, chills, tiredness and/or diarrhea.”

She said the district encourages anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus should contact their primary care provide, local public health unit or call 8-1-1 (HealthLink BC).

According to a document from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer of BC and the BC Centre for Disease Control on public health guidance for school and childcare programs for the coronavirus, the use of masks in school/childcare settings is not recommended.

It does, however, encourage good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, promote cleaning and disinfecting policies (even objects such as musical instruments, toys and water fountains) and recommend a ‘no food sharing’ policy.

Lee added Comox Valley Public Health Nursing, Island Health Authority released a letter to parents dated Jan. 28 regarding precautionary measures during flu season. She said the district encourages families and parents to follow the guidelines and keep children home from school if feeling sick.

For more information and updates on COVID-19 from the provincial health officer, visit https://bit.ly/38nwLhI.

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