Langley School District’s board office. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley School District’s board office. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley schools face delayed return due to Omicron spread

B.C. schools will return on Jan. 10 instead of Jan. 3

Parents in Langley will have to find something for kids to do starting on Monday, Jan. 3, as B.C. health officials delayed the return to classes by a week in the face of the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The change was made by Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s chief medical health officer announced the measure on Wednesday, Dec. 29. Several other provinces are taking similar measures.

Children of essential workers will be allowed to return to schools starting Jan. 3, but for most students, they won’t go back until at least Jan. 10.

“The district is aware of the Ministry of Education’s announcement on Wednesday regarding a delayed school start for K-12 students,” said Mal Gill, the new Langley superintendent of schools. “The district is waiting for more information and updated health and safety guidelines from the Ministry and Fraser Health. We will continue to work closely with our partners. We will be reviewing and implementing plans and communicating information with our school staff and our parent community as soon as it becomes available. As always, health and safety continue to be a priority for our school community.”

B.C. public health officials reported a record 2,944 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, but the number of people in hospital remained roughly stable, and the number of people in intensive care dropped slightly.

Since Dec. 24 there have been five additional deaths attributed to coronavirus.

Henry said the impact of rising cases on the health care system is not yet known. The incubation period for the Omicron variant is averaging three days, half of what the earlier Delta variant was on average.

READ ALSO: Nearly 3,000 B.C. COVID-19 cases Wednesday, hospitalization stable

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