In light of the developing news confirmed by the media and a statement from The Provincial Health Minister, Dr. Bonnie Henry  (as stated in the January 28 edition of the Vancouver Sun):

The B.C. government said the risk of the virus spreading in the province remains low.

“All necessary precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of infection,” a joint statement from Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said. “We have multiple systems in place to prepare for, detect and respond, in order to prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases in the province.”

The statement said the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has developed a diagnostic test for the new coronavirus and is working to ensure potential cases can be detected quickly and accurately.

Henry has directed health-care workers to be vigilant and to take a travel history for anyone reporting respiratory symptoms, but she said it is not yet necessary for the general public to take special precautions beyond the usual measures recommended to prevent other common respiratory viruses during cold and flu season.

“Regular hand-washing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and avoiding contact with sick people are important ways to prevent the spread of respiratory illness generally,” she said.

The flu-like virus spreads in droplets from coughs and sneezes and has an incubation period of one to 14 days.

Anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to the coronavirus or who is experiencing symptoms — which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath — is advised to contact a primary care provider, local public health office or call 811, B.C.’s free-of-charge health information line.

Here are St. Joe’s policies regarding this situation:

We are telling all our staff members to make sure everyone practices good hygiene and handwashing, and not to come to school if they are not well. We are instructing them to remind all students of proper hygiene in class.

The School will be open and classes are running as scheduled. We will remain diligent and cautious with the information that is updated from the BC Government and Health Authority.  We trust that any parents will use their better judgment that if their child is not feeling well, or have any of the above symptoms, to please contact or go to their health care provider.

If you have any questions or concerns related to the Coronavirus and/or any health concerns and cannot see a Dr, you are always are welcome to Dial “811”. This is HEALTHLINK BC- a FREE service provided by the BC Government, it is a 24hr hotline with Nurses, Dietitians, Pharmacists, Health Navigators to assist you in your health concerns and queries. They provide very informative information in a variety of languages as well. They are there to assist you with any medical concerns and questions that you might have.

If you or your child feel more comfortable coming to classes with a mask on as well, we have no problem with that at the school. (please note that we DO NOT provide any masks).

As always – if you feel that you would like to keep your child at home instead of coming to classes, please email us and let us know if your child will be absent.

Please contact the school office if you have any other questions or concerns.