Staffing constraints due to COVID-19 exposures prompt School District 83 to close Sorrento Elementary for one week, from Oct. 12 to 15, 2021. (Google image)

Staffing constraints due to COVID-19 exposures prompt School District 83 to close Sorrento Elementary for one week, from Oct. 12 to 15, 2021. (Google image)

Shuswap elementary school closed for one week due to COVID-19, staffing constraints

School district says this is a ‘functional school closure,’ not a COVID-19 outbreak

A Shuswap elementary school is closed for one week as a number of staff and students self-isolate due to COVID-19.

In an Oct. 11 letter to Sorrento Elementary families, Interior Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Fatemeh Sabet and School District 83 Superintendent Donna Kriger explain the school district decided to close the school due to staffing constraints, with in-person classes expected to resume Monday, Oct. 18.

“Please note that this is a functional school closure and has not been declared a COVID-19 school outbreak,” reads the letter.

Interior Health is asking all members of the school community to self-monitor for symptoms and get tested if they are sick. Testing information is available on the Interior Health at

With the closure, remote learning is to start on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Classroom teachers will be providing resources to parents via email, and also connecting with students and families personally.

According to Interior Health, there were potential COVID-19 exposures at the school on Sept. 27, 28, 29, 30 and Oct. 1.

On Oct. 8, information specific to the Sorrento school’s situation was posted on the school district website. It stated the school was dealing with a number of COVID-19 positive cases, and that two classrooms were self-isolating until Oct. 12, when it was expected they could return to school “as long as the adults and children are asymptomatic.”

Read more: Most Canadians say school children and staff should wear masks: survey

Read more: B.C. teachers urged to get vaccinated as union calls for provincial mandate

The Oct. 11 letter noted COVID-19 activity has increased throughout the Interior over the past few weeks, including within the school district, and there are a number of school community members self-isolating. Interior Health and the school district are working together to ensure members of the school community directly impacted have been contacted and are given the information they need. Anyone potentially exposed to COVID-19 will receive a phone call from the health authority and will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 12, six public schools from the North Okanagan-Shuswap district, including Sorrento, were on Interior Health’s school exposures list. The other schools were Bastion Elementary, with a potential exposure on Sept. 28, Parkview Elementary, Sept. 27 and 28, Grindrod Elementary, Sept. 27 and 28, M.V. Beattie Elementary, Sept. 27, and the Salmon Arm Secondary Jackson campus, Sept. 27, 28 and Oct. 1.
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