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School district postpones field trips to Europe

School District 60 says student field trips to Europe will be postponed due to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19.

School District 60 says student field trips to Europe will be postponed due to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Superintendent Stephen Petrucci says district-sponsored trips are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and there will be no travel to countries with a Level 2 or 3 public health travel risk.

“All student trips are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis and with the latest information available,” Petrucci wrote in a March 10 letter to parents and students. 

“District-sponsored trips to Europe will be postponed due to the recent increase in cases and the potential for significant travel disruption in-transit.”

The virus has killed more than 4,000 people worldwide, most in China, since the outbreak began at the end of 2019. Air Canada has halted all flights to the country, as well as flights to Italy, which is under a national lockdown and dealing with more than 10,000 infections and more than 600 deaths.

B.C. has 32 cases and one reported death, with none reported in northern B.C. In Canada there are more than 80 cases, including cases in Ontario and Quebec, and in Alberta, where 14 cases have been reported in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.

Petrucci said the school district is in regular contact with health and education authorities, and has a crisis-response plan in place.

Though risk remains low, Petrucci urged caution when traveling over the coming spring break.

“As Spring Break approaches, we encourage our staff and families to adhere to health and travel advisories prior to and following travel,” he wrote.

A Fort St. John student was tested for coronavirus earlier this month after returning from a school field trip to Japan. The test results were negative.

petrucci-letter

This is a developing story.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.