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 Ladysmith Museum has two new exhibits open to the public. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith museum opens up with two new exhibits

The museum is featuring Prime Predators of Vancouver Island and ‘Red Flag, Red Flag’

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen to field COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

Cole Schisler, editor of the Ladysmith Chronicle.
Hatred has no place anywhere

We accomplish so much more when we respect each other

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Rachel Dunstan Muller. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith storyteller Rachel Dunstan Muller launches pair of podcasts

Hintertales: Stories from the Margins of History and Sticks and Stones and Stories are available now

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read