John Horgan
Photo via Twitter

British Columbia has announced the suspension of in-classroom instruction indefinitely due to COVID-19.

“As the global pandemic is evolving quickly, we have to take action today to protect our students and staff. The actions we are announcing today are well thought out, supported by education partners,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming.

Today, under direction of provincial health officer, the Ministry of Education is instructing all schools to suspend in-classroom instruction indefinitely.

Most students are currently on Spring Break, but all school districts will begin planning now to ensure continuity of learning while in classroom instruction is suspended, once the break ends.

Every student will receive a final mark and all students on track to move on to the next grade will do so. Grade 10 and 11 graduation assessments will be postponed and all grade 12 students on track to graduate will graduate.

“We don’t have all the answers today, this is a fast moving situation,” said Minister Rob Fleming.

The Ministry will be working with school districts and all public education consultants to figure out how to continue to deliver education services after spring break ends.

Authorities will have more information later about possibly transitioning schools to an online system after consultations within the sector.

Daycares remain open at this time, but due to the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, Premier Horgan advises families to prepare for changes at any time.


See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island


According to the latest update, there are now 30 new cases of novel coronavirus in B.C., including seven on Vancouver Island, bringing the total number of cases to 103 in the province.

Six people are now in acute care in hospital, while everyone else is recovering at home in isolation, in stable condition.

Three people have died due to novel coronavirus, all of whom were residents at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. This brings the COVID-19 death toll to four in B.C. and across Canada.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will be denying entry to Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.

Designated exceptions to this rule include U.S. citizens, airline crews, diplomats, and people whose immediate families are Canadian.

Moreover international flights will now be restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.

The Prime Minister also stated that he is still working on a financial support package for individuals and small businesses. An update on this will be provided on Wednesday after a full Cabinet meeting this afternoon.

The House of Commons may also be reconvened in order to consider passing emergency measures.

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 197,766.

Nearly 7,954 people have died from the illness and 81,691 have made a full recovery.

 

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