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Upper Grand board cancels international school trips amid COVID-19 concerns

High school trips to Italy and France have been cancelled so far
Upper Grand District School Board logo. Supplied photo

The Upper Grand District School Board cancelled two international school trips as concerns over the spread of COVID-19 continue to rise. 

“To date, we have cancelled two international trips that were scheduled for March Break. One trip was to Italy and the other was to France,” said Heather Loney, communications officer at the UGDSB.

Loney said that as it stands senior administration will assess each field trip scheduled for later in the spring on a case-by-case basis, which is part of the school board’s preparedness phase in its Pandemic Plan.

While there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases confirmed in Guelph, Loney said the board is taking direction on how to deal with the virus from the local health unit and provincial and federal health authorities. 

“It’s important to note that this situation is evolving and information may change from one day to the next,” said Loney.

The UGDSB has a pandemic plan that aligns with the World Health Organization. The purpose of the plan is to lay out strategic actions that need to be taken in each phase of a pandemic. 

The school board has been in its preparedness phase of the pandemic plan since news of the coronavirus began to emerge earlier this year.

Current steps in the school board preparedness phase include the school board:

  1. Reviewing and revising their Pandemic Plan. A board staff committee is actively referencing the plan as it relates to COVID-19.

  2. Staying in regular contact with the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

  3. Informing parents about proactive measures they can take to reduce the risk of the virus.

  4. Creating a webpage on the school board website that includes information about COVID-19, proactive measures people can take along with informational links from local, provincial and federal authorities. 

  5. Monitoring absenteeism for increased absences at schools and reporting absences to Public Health.

  6. Increasing cleaning at schools related to the regular flu season 

  7. Distributing additional hand sanitizers to school offices and portables.

  8. Sending informational posters to all schools and offices that state recommended preventative measures around handwashing and etiquette related to coughing and sneezing.

If parents, students, or any member of the public have questions about  COVID-19, the school board asks that they contact Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.


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Anam Khan

About the Author: Anam Khan

Anam Khan is a journalist who covers numerous beats in Guelph and Wellington County that include politics, crime, features, environment and social justice
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