Three independent education institutions in the Shuswap and Vernon have been declared free of COVID-19 outbreaks.
A bible college in Sunnybrae, a Christian school in Salmon Arm and one in Vernon are all up and running.
Steve Janz, executive director of the Millar College of the Bible campus in Sunnybrae, said Nov. 22 that Interior Health (IH) informed the college on Friday, Nov. 19 the COVID-19 outbreak was officially declared over.
Up until then, IH was listing the college with 33 cases of COVID-19.
Janz said the institution has not had anyone with symptoms for the last 15 days.
“All the protocols people followed paid off,” he said, noting the college has been in lockdown for four weeks less-a-day.
“It feels great,” he said of the ‘outbreak-over’ declaration.
At King’s Christian School in Salmon Arm, although IH announced its outbreak was over on Nov. 19, Principal Mel Brandsma said the school officially opened on Nov. 15 after closing Nov. 4.
He said he was not sure of exact numbers of cases, but IH wanted the school closed as a kind of circuit breaker, to give the school a chance to restart and not have any connections between students.
He said the closure was actually only five days, as it was followed by the holiday on Nov. 11 and a professional development day scheduled for Nov. 12.
“Everybody’s going full blast and we’re thrilled to be here,” Brandsma said enthusiastically.
In Vernon, the Vernon Christian School shut down on Nov. 4, reopening on Nov. 18. It was reported to have 39 cases associated with the outbreak.
At the public schools in Vernon and the North Okanagan as of Monday, Nov. 22, those listed as having potential exposure events included: J.W. Inglis Elementary in Lumby; M.V. Beattie Elementary and A.L. Fortune in Enderby; Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong; and Alexis Park Elementary, Ecole Beairsto Elementary, BX Elementary, Hillview Elementary, Silverstar Elementary School, Vernon Secondary and Okanagan Landing Elementary in Vernon.
In Salmon Arm and the South Shuswap, schools with potential exposures include: Shuswap Middle School and Salmon Arm West in Salmon Arm, as well as Carlin Elementary Middle in Tappen.
Exposure dates for the schools listed are in the range of Nov. 8 to 10.
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