Central Okanagan students asked to curb COVID-risky behaviour

Central Okanagan students asked to curb COVID-risky behaviour

School district and Interior Health reliant on students and parents to observe social distancing restrictions

Videos circulated online last week of students gathering outside the school grounds at lunchtime in Kelowna without following social distancing protocols.

The videos garnered some media attention but left Interior Health and Central Okanagan Public Schools with no definitive ideas on how to address the problem.

Kevin Kaardal, superintendent/CEO of Central Okanagan Public Schools, issued a statement asking parents, store owners and other members of the community to support the school district’s efforts to reinforce values of safety and responsibility among students.

“Our staff at secondary schools work hard to organize and supervise students as they arrive, take breaks, and leave campus. We also continue to educate students on responsible behaviour during the pandemic and being community contributors at all times,” said the statement.

“Our efforts to reduce risk at schools are greatly impacted by community members’ behaviour – students and their families need to understand that personal responsibility extends beyond school grounds.”

Interior Health declined to comment, pointing to provincial health director Dr. Bonnie Henry’s response to that question during her press conference on Monday (Sept. 28).

Asked about students gathering off school sites and outside of their cohorts at convenience stores or local restaurants, Henry said teenagers are presented with challenges with how schools are adjusting to the COVID-19 health safety requirements.

“I know it’s very different, particularly for teenagers, and that strong urge to be socially connected at that time in our lives is a very challenging one to overcome,” Henry said.

She students gathering in groups raise concerns about a contagious disease like COVID being brought home and infecting family members.

“Those are important things and I know young people believe that as well. So now’s the time, we’re getting over the novelty of how this going to work, to put in place those rituals, those procedures so that we can safely go back to school, continue the learning and the connection that we have and not have those potential exposure events outside of the school setting,” she said.

“So parents and young people, let’s support each other and stay small.”

READ MORE: B.C. reports 161 new COVID-19 cases, near daily record

READ MORE: B.C.’s hospitals still have thousands of empty beds in case of COVID surge

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

(File photo)
COLUMN: How to help your young reluctant reader

Library has resources to help children

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

C.E. “Ned” Bentley owned a garage on Shaughnessy Avenue, now Lakeshore Drive in Summerland. Bentley later went on to serve on Summerland’s council and was recognized with the Good Citizen Award in 1939. (Summerland Museum photo)
Former Summerland reeve once ran garage

C.E. “Ned” Bentley was a prominent figure in Summerland’s past.

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is offering home compost bins at reduced prices until March 25. (Contributed)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen offers compost bins at wholesale costs

Pricing offer at participating stores in place until March 25

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for Penticton council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read