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Columbia Falls school officials voice concerns over spring break travel

Posted at 7:16 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 21:16:41-04

COLUMBIA FALLS — Spring break for the Columbia Falls school district is in two weeks, and school officials have concerns about a preplanned school trip, which requires students to travel.

Superintendent Steve Bradshaw told MTN News that the district has some concerns over families traveling amid the coronavirus outbreak. Spring break starts March 23 and Bradshaw assumes some students and their families will travel.

While there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Montana, the potential for travel concerns him with the virus outbreak. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Monday that 19 people have died from the virus.

Bradshaw says that he's most concerned about a group of students going on a prepaid school trip over spring break.

"We've got a group going to Spokane, a choir group going to Spokane, we've got a band going to New York City," said Bradshaw. "So, we're kind of holding off on making a decision, because both groups have of course put down money that's non-refundable money and we don't want to hurt the kids. At the same time, we're extremely concerned about what we've read and seen."

Bradshaw told MTN News that the district is strongly encouraging families not to travel during spring break. He also emphasized they will continue to monitor potential travel for students and families on a day-to-day basis and make a safety plan if necessary.

Bradshaw says as of right now, the students leave for Spokane and New York next Wednesday. The district will continue to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and make adjustments to travel plans if necessary.