Student trip to Italy was cancelled for Mount Douglas Secondary amid COVID-19 fears. (Google Image)

Coronavirus causes cancellation of Saanich school trips

School district cancels Italian trips by Mount Douglas and Royal Oak students

The Greater Victoria School District (SD61) and the Saanich School District (SD63) will cancel two student trips to Italy amid concerns over a COVID-19 travel advisory.

The SD61 cancelled trip involves 16 students from Mount Douglas Secondary scheduled to travel on a cruise excursion during spring break. According to Dave Eberwein, Saanich School District superintendent, Royal Oak Middle School will reschedule their student trip to Italy and Germany.

The district’s choice to cancel the trips comes after a level three travel advisory issued for the northern region of Italy. Both districts will decide whether to cancel any trips on a case-by-case basis.

Concerned parents from Parkland Secondary will meet on Wednesday night with school officials to discuss the potential cancellation of a trip to England, France and Spain.

Cancellations will be discussed and plans will be shared with parents, but no cancellations have been announced at this time, Eberwein said.

In Italy, a country that has now reported the highest number of the coronavirus cases outside of Asia, authorities reported Monday that they have 1,694 confirmed cases of the virus, up from just 1,100 on Saturday. Eleven cities and towns have been placed on lock-down, banning people from entering or leaving affected areas. The move has put an estimated 100,000 people under quarantine.

ALSO READ: Sooke School District cancels one student trip and reviews another over COVID-19 scare

SD61 said they are closely monitoring the trip advisory to decide if any other student trips abroad need to be cancelled. Any non-essential travel to affected areas will be avoided.

SD 61 will increase cleaning and handwashing within their schools. In addition, a letter home to remind parents and guardians of the importance of handwashing and respiratory etiquette was sent.

“Student safety is our first priority, and the school district will continue to assess each scheduled trip case by case,” according to a release from the Greater Victoria School District.

Sooke School District officials joined the two districts in cancelling one oversees school trip while another is in doubt. The first trip planned for Journey Middle School students that would have seen 21 students depart for Japan on March 14 has been cancelled. The second trip, planned by students at Edward Milne Community School, is under review.

With files from Tim Collins.

ALSO READ: B.C. confirms 9th case of COVID-19 as man who travelled to Iran

sarah.schuchard@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook, or send a tweet to @sarah_schuchard
and follow us on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Isolation is normal for us,” says Saanich dad with cystic fibrosis

Gordon Head man says now’s the time to approve life-saving cystic fibrosis drug

Victoria business still busy as people turn to books while in self-isolation

Russell Books says certain genres have gained popularity during COVID-19

Farmers’ markets still open in Greater Victoria

The Moss Street and Esquimalt Farmers’ markets are scheduled to take place, with slight variations

Oak Bay Police Chief Const. Andy Brinton passes the torch this summer

Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties to take over position in September

Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19

Police link jump in domestic, mental health calls to pandemic

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read