Nanaimo District Secondary School. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo District Secondary School. (News Bulletin file photo)

Fire drill didn’t spread COVID-19, says Island school district

Cases reported at Nanaimo District Secondary, but no transmission of virus there

COVID-19 cases are rising in Nanaimo and that includes in schools, but a fire drill at NDSS last week wasn’t any kind of super-spreader event, says SD68.

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools reported new COVID-19 cases at NDSS four separate times over the last two weeks, as the secondary is one of seven schools in the district currently on Island Health’s school exposures list.

There was a fire drill at Nanaimo District Secondary School on Feb. 4, but as of a week later, there has been nothing to suggest the drill led to COVID-19 transmission, said SD68 spokesman Dale Burgos.

He noted that while COVID clusters have been reported at three Nanaimo schools, NDSS isn’t one of them, meaning that public health’s contact tracing hasn’t identified spread of the virus happening at that school.

While Burgos acknowledged community concern about the fire drill spreading COVID-19, he said he hasn’t heard school administrators express concern about continuing with fire drills during the pandemic. B.C.’s Fire Services Act mandates six fire drills per school year, and last week’s drill at NDSS was the fourth of 2020-21.

Burgos said the school followed protocols.

“Schools received direction from our safety and wellness team before [holding drills] and it was stressed that they have to make sure it’s done in a safe manner, following the restrictions, staying in your learning groups,” Burgos said.

He added that he thinks fire drills are very important and should continue to happen.

story continues below

Nanaimo District Secondary School’s COVID-19 exposure dates were Jan. 27-28, Feb. 1-3 and Feb. 5. Schools with clusters, meaning that transmission happened there, include Rock City and Bayview elementaries and Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School. Other SD68 schools that have had cases the past two weeks include John Barsby and Ladysmith secondaries and Brechin Elementary.

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo-Ladysmith superintendent, said in a video message last week that schools mirror communities, and while exposures continue to happen, “we’re still seeing lower transmission rates inside our schools.” He said safety of students and staff remains the district’s top priority, and added that cleaning of high-touch points and disinfecting will continue to happen in every building in the district as long as is required.

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read