Vancouver Island schools cancel trips amid coronavirus fears
VICTORIA -- Several Vancouver Island schools are cancelling international trips for students this month amid the global spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus.
Sooke School District spokesperson Stephanie Sherlock says staff made the "very difficult decision" to cancel three trips "after much thought, consultation and review of travel advisories from the Government of Canada."
Students at Royal Bay Secondary School were planning to go to Greece from March 18 to 28; students at Edward Milne Community School were to head to Rome and Paris from March 16 to 23; and Journey Middle School students were planning to visit Japan from March 12 to 22.
All three trips will not go ahead.
Sherlock said other school trips are subject to cancellation as the global coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve.
The Greater Victoria School District is cancelling a spring break trip to Italy. School district spokesperson Lisa McPhail says 16 students from Mount Douglas Secondary had been planning to travel to northern Italy on a cruise.
Meanwhile, the Saanich School District says that it is not currently planning to cancel any trips or classes but that it is reviewing its plans for international trips on a daily basis.
"At this time we have not cancelled any trips, but continue to consult and consider this depending on travel advisories and recommendations from the provincial government," said the school district in a statement Tuesday.
The Saanich School District adds that regular cleaning continues in all of the district's schools to ensure that surfaces are disinfected.