With all the genuine concerns about Coronavirus, there is one thing parents do not need to worry about.
Your child’s school will have enough toilet paper.
“The quality of toilet paper we use, nobody wants,” said Jameel Aziz, assistant superintendent of Nicola-Similkameen School District.
“No one is going to steal public school toilet paper.”
On a more serious note, Aziz said the district has ramped up its cleaning program as a preventative measure.
While schools are normally cleaned once a day, a second daily cleaning has been ordered, focusing on disinfecting surfaces such as doorknobs that are likely to get “lots of hands.”
The district also ordered hand sanitizer which will be made available to students and staff.
Previously it was not a school staple due to alcohol content and allergy concerns, he said.
One case of sanitizer was expected to be delivered March 12, but Aziz was unsure when any more of the product would be available, due to demand.
Aziz said he’s fielded numerous calls from parents asking whether or not it is safe for their children to attend school.
“We’ve have had some who have chosen to keep them home this week,” he said.
In some of those cases, a student lives with a person who has a weakened immune system or other health issues.
School districts across the province are taking their direction from the education ministry, which is being guided by the Ministry of Health.
A March 6 release from the Provincial Health Officer stresses the risk of contracting the virus in B.C. is low.
It recommends students returning from travel in high-risk countries should consider staying home for 14 days while monitoring their health.
Aziz said other students with minor or singular symptoms, such as a cough or runny nose, don’t necessarily have to avoid the classroom.
The same ailments that would have required a child to stay home before the Coronavirus outbreak ought to be the same ones informing decisions today, he said.
No student will be penalized for not attending school, he added.
“People’s response is going to be all over the place.”
According to the province, school events and trips within B.C. should be considered safe.
Recently the Nicola-Similkameen School District cancelled a Princeton Secondary School trip to Europe, affecting 12 students, two staff members and two representatives from the district.