An online petition has been launched urging the province to extend the winter break by two weeks, as students prepare to return to classrooms Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (Black Press Media files)

An online petition has been launched urging the province to extend the winter break by two weeks, as students prepare to return to classrooms Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (Black Press Media files)

COVID-19: Petition calls on B.C. to extend students’ winter break

Students are set to return to classrooms Monday, Jan. 4

Students in B.C. are set to return to school on Monday, but some are calling for the return date to be pushed back out of continued concern over COVID-19.

An online petition to extend the winter break by two weeks has been circulating online since Dec. 28, garnering more than 2,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon (Dec. 31).

The petition, addressed to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix, cites a “massive uptick” of cases in the past month.

According to B.C.’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been roughly 17,600 cases reported in the province in December. However, there has been some noticeable diminishment in daily case totals over the course of this month, with 829 on Dec. 1 as the high point compared to 358 on Dec. 28.

READ MORE: ‘If not now, then when?’ COVID-19 spurs some Canadians to make big changes

On Wednesday Henry and Dix made an unexpected ban on liquor sales after 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, expiring at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1. Prior to the announcement, the cutoff for sales in restaurants was 10 p.m.

Earlier this month the head of the B.C. teachers’ union said they weren’t consulted about the decision to keep students in schools until the traditional winter break, rather than extend it as some other provinces have.

“We ask that Dr. Bonnie Henry extend the winter break for all B.C. students and make a new plan on how to safely return to school,” reads the petition.

For signee Sarina Prasad, an extension of the winter break is a much-needed preventative measure.

“Two weeks may actually make a difference in bringing down the curve. What have we got to lose,” she said.

Henry and Dix have said earlier this month they weren’t planning to extend the break.

— with files from Katya Slepian

READ MORE: Horgan urges B.C. to celebrate end of 2020 safely in last statement of the year


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

CoronavirusSchools

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

Just Posted

Rod Alsop and the LSS band had a great day holding class outdoors at Transfer Beach. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith Secondary School band takes class outside to mark the end of academic quarter

The band took advantage of a sunny January day to play outside

Jessica Lowry created a series of videos to engage Ladysmith Intermediate School students in mindfulness. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith Intermediate teams up with local artist to introduce students to mindfulness

Ladysmith artist Jessica Lowry created a series of 36 videos to help students practice mindfulness

Luke Marston works on the seawolf mask for Canucks goalie Braden Holtby. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Stz’uminus artist Luke Marston designs new mask for Canucks goalie

The mask features artwork inspired by the Coast Salish legend of the sea wolf

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent and CEO, has seen his contract renewed for four years, the district announced Wednesday. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)
Ladysmith school district renews superintendent’s contract for four years

‘Singing superintendent’ Scott Saywell under contract through 2024-25 school year

Emergency services were on scene at 1st Avenue and Warren Street after a skateboarder was struck by a vehicle. (Submitted photo)
Skateboarder ‘bumped’ by vehicle on 1st Avenue

Emergency services personnel say the skateboarder is uninjured

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head prison inmates in receive first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested after stolen water taxi raced up Victoria’s Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000 after leading police on marine chase

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Most Read