COVID-19 fears prompt Abbotsford School District to cancel international trips

Email sent to employees states travel to affected regions may require self-quarantine upon return

As more and more confirmed cases of COVID-19 hit B.C., a number of sponsored trips abroad have been cancelled by the Abbotsford School District.

An email from Dr. Kevin Godden, superintendent of the school district, was sent out to all employees on March 5.

“With many families and individuals choosing to travel internationally during Spring Break, we know that there may be an increased risk of the virus spreading,” Godden said. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to cancel a number of district-sponsored trips.”

The Canadian government has ranked China, Northern Italy and Iran at a level 3 risk under their health advisories, with Japan and South Korea at level 2. All school trips to these locations have been cancelled as a result.

Employees travelling to these locations over Spring Break are required to tell their immediate supervisors, and may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon returning, according to the email.

“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. We want to ensure parents, students and staff have time to adjust their plans accordingly,” Godden said. “This is an evolving global situation, and as such, we need to be prepared for the possibility that between now and spring break there likely will be more changes to the situation.”

RELATED: 6 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., including ‘outbreak’ at care home

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