DAWSON CREEK -- With the surge of COVID-19 cases in the Peace Region, School Districts are planning for the possibility of staff shortages.

School District 59's Superintendent, Mike Readman says in October and November, 20 to 25 staff members were away due to COVID-19, but now 35 to 40 staff members are away sick.

With the surge of COVID-19 cases, they have released a plan in case more teachers become sick.

If there is a lack of available staff that will not allow the school to operate safely, the school will undergo a functional closure.

This means, students will transition to online learning for 5 to 8 days.

Students of essential health care workers as well as students with diverse needs may still attend, as long as that can be staffed.

All other students will continue with online learning.If the functional closure does occur, Petrucci says parents and guardians will be notified as soon as possible. Teachers will then be in contact about the steps to move online.

For School District 60, Superintendent Stephen Petrucci says they haven't had staffing issues because of COVID-19, but they are also planning a functional closure if there is a lack of available staff.