Calgary

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools cancels international trips due to COVID-19 outbreak

The board of trustees for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools has cancelled international trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

'This decision may be disappointing for students and their families’ but ‘safety is of utmost concern'

'We recognize that this decision may be disappointing for students and their families that have been saving for a long time to attend these trips. However, student and staff safety is of utmost concern,' the board said in a statement. (motive56/Shutterstock)

The board of trustees for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools has cancelled international trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Late Thursday, the board sent out a release saying it was cancelling trips planned by École Secondaire Notre Dame High School and St. Joseph High School over March spring break.

École Secondaire Notre Dame High School had planned two trips, with one group of students to go to Germany, Croatia and Spain and another just to Spain.

St. Joseph High School students were to visit a number of countries in central Europe.

All trips were to occur March 18 to 29.

Advice from public health officials

The decision was based on developing information from Alberta Health Services and Alberta's chief medical officer, the board said in a release, stressing that its top priority is the health and safety of students and staff.

"We recognize that this decision may be disappointing for students and their families that have been saving for a long time to attend these trips. However, student and staff safety is of utmost concern and we must take the direction of Alberta's chief medical officer of health, who is not recommending international travel," the statement said.

"The board also considered whether families would lose the money they had put towards these trips. Our students and their families purchased travel insurance or provided their own, so we are confident that they will be able to recoup the majority of the cost."

On Tuesday, the province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, sent a memorandum to all Alberta school superintendents regarding spring travel and COVID-19.

She said decisions regarding travel remain the responsibility of families and schools. 

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