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Protect yourself and others this cold and flu season!

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Nobody likes being sick, and with cold and flu season upon us, it’s up to all of us to help prevent the spread of communicable disease in our school communities.

B.C.’s Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings remain important to the ongoing protection from and prevention of respiratory illness, including colds and flus. The health and safety of our classrooms is a team effort – students, staff and visitors are urged to stay home if they are not feeling well or are experiencing symptoms, including fever and/or chills, recent onset of coughing or diarrhea:

  • For uncontrolled fever: stay home until you do not have a fever and feel well enough to return to your regular activities.
  • For undiagnosed vomiting and diarrhea: stay home until there has been 24 hours since your last episode.

In addition to staying home when you’re sick, there are a few other ways you can keep yourself from getting sick and from spreading illness to others:

  • Wash your hands regularly: Practise frequent hand hygiene to prevent the spread of germs and respiratory illness.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.
  • Get your recommended vaccinations. Flu shots are free to everyone in B.C. six months and older, and are available as a shot or a nasal spray. BC residents 6 months and older are also encouraged to get their COVID vaccinations.

The decision to wear a mask or face covering is a personal choice for everyone. This choice will be supported and treated with respect in all our schools. Disposable masks will continue to be available at our sites for those that wish to use them. 

Staff, students or visitors may attend school if their symptoms are consistent with a previously diagnosed health condition such as seasonal allergies, or if their symptoms have improved to where they feel well enough to return to regular activities, and any fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medication (i.e. acetaminophen, ibuprofen).

If a staff member, student or visitor develops symptoms of illness while at school and is unable to participate in regular activities, they should go home until their symptoms have improved.

The district has developed a resource for parents/guardians to help prevent illness during cold and flu season, and the importance of staying home when symptomatic. This resource can also be used when students develop symptoms while at school. The fact sheet is available in English, Punjabi, Chinese and Arabic.

If you are unsure or concerned about your symptoms, please connect with your health care provider or call 8-1-1. For more information, check the Provincial Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings.

Thank you for continuing to keep our schools and workplaces healthy!

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