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COVID-19 outbreak declared at West Kelowna elementary; students move to online learning

Mar Jok Elementary is discontinuing in-person classes, moving to remote learning
Mar Jok Elementary in West Kelowna. (Google Maps)

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a West Kelowna elementary school, prompting the school district to move all classes online.

The move comes after a recommendation to do so from Interior Health, and all members of the Mar Jok Elementary School community are asked to self-monitor for symptoms and get tested if they’re sick.

“The declaration of an outbreak and temporary closure of the physical school to in-class learning is an important safety measure. We are confident in our staff’s proven ability to minimize the disruption to learning and transition to remote learning for students,” said Kevin Kaardal, SD23 superintendent and CEO.

“Interior Health has worked closely with our administrators to protect students and staff, and we are well prepared to adapt to safety measures such as this to prevent the spread of communicable disease.”

In the last few weeks, health officials have noted increased COVID-19 activity at Mar Jok and has asked several school community members to isolate. Despite those measures, transmission of the virus still occurred, prompting Interior Health to declare an outbreak and recommend the school shut its doors.

SD23 has not provided an estimated reopening date for the school.

As of Nov. 9, 10 schools in SD23 are listed on Interior Health’s school exposures webpage as having had an exposure event within the last two weeks. Seven of those schools are in West Kelowna.

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