An online petition has been launched urging the province to extend the winter break by two weeks, as students prepare to return to classrooms Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (Black Press Media files)

An online petition has been launched urging the province to extend the winter break by two weeks, as students prepare to return to classrooms Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (Black Press Media files)

COVID-19: Petition calls on B.C. to extend students’ winter break

Students are set to return to classrooms Monday, Jan. 4

Students in B.C. are set to return to school on Monday, but some are calling for the return date to be pushed back out of continued concern over COVID-19.

An online petition to extend the winter break by two weeks has been circulating online since Dec. 28, garnering more than 2,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon (Dec. 31).

The petition, addressed to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix, cites a “massive uptick” of cases in the past month.

According to B.C.’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been roughly 17,600 cases reported in the province in December. However, there has been some noticeable diminishment in daily case totals over the course of this month, with 829 on Dec. 1 as the high point compared to 358 on Dec. 28.

READ MORE: ‘If not now, then when?’ COVID-19 spurs some Canadians to make big changes

On Wednesday Henry and Dix made an unexpected ban on liquor sales after 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, expiring at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1. Prior to the announcement, the cutoff for sales in restaurants was 10 p.m.

Earlier this month the head of the B.C. teachers’ union said they weren’t consulted about the decision to keep students in schools until the traditional winter break, rather than extend it as some other provinces have.

“We ask that Dr. Bonnie Henry extend the winter break for all B.C. students and make a new plan on how to safely return to school,” reads the petition.

For signee Sarina Prasad, an extension of the winter break is a much-needed preventative measure.

“Two weeks may actually make a difference in bringing down the curve. What have we got to lose,” she said.

Henry and Dix have said earlier this month they weren’t planning to extend the break.

— with files from Katya Slepian

READ MORE: Horgan urges B.C. to celebrate end of 2020 safely in last statement of the year


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

CoronavirusSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Suspect arrested after armed robbery in downtown Castlegar

Victim was allegedly threatened with knife and bear spray

Columbia Avenue Redevelopment — Phase 2 will begin in February. Image: City of Castlegar
Construction on the Columbia Avenue Redevelopment Project beginning March 1

Crews will be clearing brush and trees and removing asphalt

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

(file photo)
Nomination packages available for Castlegar byelection

The mayor’s seat and one council seat will be on the ballot

The Skinny Genes Foundation is raising awareness and funds for a rare genetic disorder that claimed both his father and uncle.
NHL players, local businesses help Kootenay man raise funds and awareness for rare genetic disease

Signed NHL jerseys and local business donations up for auction in Skinny Genes Foundation fundraiser

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read