The looming presence of COVID and the march of the Omicron was one of two dominating themes for this first week of January, with the Arctic blast of winter and the large volume of snow competing with the coronavirus for top billing for the week.
The weather took the early lead in the newsreel, with city streets and sidewalks of particular note for conversations around town, along with the conditions found along Highway 16 and the other highways of the Northwest.
The COVID story picked up speed by mid week, with word of the impact that the virus had delivered to the Prince Rupert Fire Rescue department, which had a large number of their 20 man roster off the job by Wednesday.
COVID also features in the return to School plans for SD52 as school officials adjust to the guidance from the Ministry of Education and the Public Health officer, while the PRDTU which represents local teachers shared some of their concerns on the return to school program.
Snaring some of the spotlight on the week, was the annual release of the Assessment values for property owners across the province, with Prince Rupert property holders finding some significant increases in many areas of the city.
However, the ongoing evaluation of COVID was the talking point by mid week, particularly as it delivered some concerning news for the city's Fire Rescue department.
13 of 20 Prince Rupert Firefighters off the job owing to COVID-19 -- Wednesday eying provided a glimpse for Prince Rupert residents of the significant impact that growing cases of COVID can have on the community, with word of a large outbreak of the coronavirus at the Prince Rupert Fire Hall. By mid Thursday morning, the City of Prince Rupert had issued a statement with some reassurance for the community of their plan of attack in dealing with the situation. (posted January 5 , 2022)
That article was followed by:
Snow removal themes could make for conversation "Icebreaker" for first session of City Council set for next Monday -- The volume of snow on city streets and sidewalks by far dominated the conversation around town and through social media as many Prince Rupert residents weighed in with a few thoughts on the progress of snow removal. By the end of the week, the City had significantly increased both its efforts in snow removal and in public relations related to that work. (posted January 4, 2022)
Highway 16 Closed owing to Avalanche Hazard, not ETA for reopening -- The Arctic blast and volume of snow also had an impact on highway travel this week, starting with a road closure on New Year's Day, with the rest of the week one of reports of many concerns over the quality of the highway maintenance program that had been delivered. (posted January 1, 2022)
SD52 outlines Back to School plans for first two weeks of January 2022, PRDTU responds to District update -- School District 52 Superintendent Andrew Samoil provided the outline of the Prince Rupert School District's return to class program for January, a document that made for some comment from the Prince Rupert Teachers' union. Friday, the Province expanded on how the return to school is going to move forward as COVID concerns continue to dominate the conversation. (posted January 3, 2022)
BC Assessments for 2022 bring significant property assessment spikes for many homes across Prince Rupert -- Property owners across the Northwest were clicking on to the BC assessment website on Tuesday, checking out the 2022 valuation of their homes from the provincial agency. For Prince Rupert residents those clicks delivered some significant increases in assessments for large portions of the city. (posted January 4, 2022)
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