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Citing coronavirus concerns, P.E.I. cancels out-of-country school trips

Heather Morrison, P.E.I.’s chief health officer, outlined new guidelines for self-quarantine for Island residents during a news briefing Monday. The Province is urging all individuals who have returned from travel outside of Canada to monitor for symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.
Stu Neatby/THE GUARDIAN
Heather Morrison, P.E.I.’s chief health officer, outlined new guidelines for self-quarantine for Island residents during a news briefing Monday, March 9, 2020. - SaltWire file photo

Due to ongoing health concerns related to coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) P.E.I,'s Department of Education has cancelled school-planned travel abroad during the month of March.

The decision impacts all Public Schools Branch-sanctioned trips to Europe for the March Break period as well as any other trips arranged for the rest of the month. There are currently no international trips planned for the French Language School Board.

Education Minister Brad Trivers said the decision was not an easy one, but with the ongoing global turmoil surrounding the virus, the province decided to err on the side of caution.

“Our school boards have been working closely with the Chief Public Health Office to keep our staff, students and their families informed about COVID-19. The decision to cancel school trips by the Public Schools Branch was not made easily. We know that students were looking forward to the experience; however, their safety always comes first,” said Trivers.

Public Schools Branch stated that about 100 students and staff will be impacted by this decision. It intends to make rescheduling plans as soon as feasible.

Island families and students planning personal trips over March break are encouraged to visit the province's website for up-to-date information about COVID-19, including updates and instructions for those travelling.

“Many staff and students may have personal trips planned over March break, and I strongly encourage everyone to be aware of travel advice being shared by our Chief Public Health Office and take the appropriate precautions,” added Trivers.

Island students and school staff returning from trips abroad who are feeling well can return to school. Those who may not be feeling well and are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing are asked to stay home and call 811 for instructions.

More information about this ongoing situation is available online at www.princeedwardisland.ca/coronavirus.

Related COVID-19 coverage from SalWire Network is available here.


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