The Vernon School District has ordered more masks to ensure all students in grades 4-12 are complying with wearing them. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)

The Vernon School District has ordered more masks to ensure all students in grades 4-12 are complying with wearing them. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)

More masks on order for Vernon schools

Vernon schools have already handed out 177,710 masks

More masks are on order to add to the already distributed 177,710 disposable and reusable ones handed out to local students.

The Vernon School District has already spent approximately $133,948, funded from COVID-19 grants, on masks for students.

In response to new provincial health guidelines mandating the use of face masks in schools for students in Grades 4 to 12, the district has even more in order.

“We had a good supply of masks in stock prior to the announcement but we have ordered extra masks to keep up with the added requests,” director of facilities Archie Stogianos said.

Along with intermediate and senior students mandated to wear masks in class, all Kindergarten to Grade 12 staff must wear them too.

The latest mandate is made following an increase in COVID-19 community cases.

READ MORE: North Okanagan-Shuswap school district orders 6,000 masks, now mandatory in class

The Vernon school district had its first case last week following weeks without any. Several Grade 7 students at Mission Hill Elementary are required to self-isolate until April 15.

READ MORE: COVID-19 exposure at Vernon elementary school

Meanwhile, there has been a surge of cases in the Central Okanagan with exposure notices at 13 different schools sent out in the last two days.

The week of March 21 to 27 saw 21 cases in Vernon, four in Enderby, 141 in the Central Okanagan and 19 in Penticton.

Within the Interior Health Authority, there have been a total of 8,587 cases and 115 deaths (as of Tuesday, April 6). There are currently 16 hospitalized, eight in critical care and 7,954 have recovered.

Cumulative cases from January 2020 to February 2021 saw 605 in Vernon, 56 in Enderby, 2,959 in the Central Okanagan and 270 in Penticton.


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jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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