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Central Okanagan School District grappling with “unprecedented” air quality issues

The smoky sky in Kelowna, Friday, August 8.
The smoky sky in Kelowna, Friday, August 8. Kimberly Davidson / Global News

As the Okanagan continues to see smoky conditions, the Central Okanagan School District is advising schools to use common sense when it comes to outdoor activities.

In a message to staff, the school district said it has no specific policy about “which activities are permissible during days with specific air quality rating,” partly because the school district said the severity and frequency of poor air quality ratings are unprecedented.

Instead the school district is telling staff to use common sense and follow Interior Health’s advice.

“Current air quality levels do not necessitate a strict order or policy to keep students indoors,” the district said in a statement to staff.

“The variety of air quality ratings in multiple areas and elevations makes a district-wide policy inadequate. Individual principals need to be aware of provincial recommendations, advise their staff and adjust their curricula according to their area’s conditions and specific student needs.”

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Air quality was rated as a seven or high health risk across the Okanagan on Friday.