A COVID-19 exposure has been reported at Kitwanga Elementary School, the fifth school in Coast Mountains School District 82 (CMSD82) to report an exposure. It is the first CMSD82 school outside Terrace to report an exposure.
The exposure took place on Dec. 1 to Dec. 3, according to a Northern Health bulletin posted to the school district’s website. Northern Health does not release details about school exposures, such as the number of cases associated with the exposure.
Since late November, there have been multiple COVID-19 exposures at Terrace area schools. Suwilaawks Community School was forced to close Friday, Dec. 11 and Monday, Dec. 14 due to a staffing shortage.
There have been calls to close schools in the area. Janet Meyer, CMSD82 superintendent, said that some schools are seeing an increase in absenteeism, but that on all matters related to COVID-19, the school district defers to Northern Health and provincial officials.
“People think that we as a school district are deciding to keep schools open, to close schools, people are very much advocating right now to close schools and that direction does not come from this office,” she said.
“That direction [is] provincial, and not everybody understands that, and it’s difficult for them to understand why we aren’t doing something that they think we should be doing.”