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BC Children will return to class under the COVID cloud on Sept. 3 since the pandemic began

The Department of Education will release plans for the new school year next week.

Safe Schools Coalition co-founder Jennifer Heighton wants the province to ensure better air quality in classrooms before kids return to school.
Jennifer Heighton, co-founder of the Safe Schools Coalition, hopes to ensure better air quality in classrooms before children return to school. Photo by Francis Georgian /PNG

Expected to be closer to "normal" this time around, world Children will go back to school during a pandemic.

September 2020 introduced “cohorts” andSeptember 2021 mask mandates, while BC's COVID-19 response has evolved and the protocols set by the Department of Education are expected to reflect that.

With just over two weeks until school starts, the ministry told her Postmedia that she will share an update next week.

Past Protocols  B.C. Regarding Centers for Disease Control guidelines, his B.C. President Clint Johnston said: Federation of Teachers. "We don't yet know what will happen in September."

Unions are represented by state committees that help make decisions on the protocol, including easy access to protective equipment, masks Creating an environment that respects the child who wears it, as well as those who don't, enhanced cleaning.

Johnston said there appeared to be an emphasis on "back to normal" in the discussion, but the union said the classroom should not be a public place or business.

Clint Johnston, president of the B.C. Teachers Federation.
Clint Johnston, BC Presidential Teachers Association. Photo by LAUREN HUTCHISON/BCTF/HANDOU/PNG

Jennifer Heighton, co-founder of the Safe Schools Coalition, said: He said he expects school protocols to be similar. To this June guys, but she has concerns.

The Coalition wants to do more to make the air in our schools cleaner. She wants all her B.C.s to have her HEPA filters installed, as improving ventilation can be expensive and time consuming. classroom.

"We have to deal with all variants now," she said.

The coalition also wantsmasking to continue due to poor air quality in schools.

Schools, unlike public places and businesses, are crowded, and students spend several hours a day together in a small room, Hyton said.

Children with weakened immune systems may not be able to attend school if schools are unsafe, she said. All children, including children, should have access to public education.”

But infectious disease expert and physician Brian Conway warns against “picking” schools for additional COVID measures. said no.

He did not believe that returning to school would lead to a surge in new cases, noting that case numbers and school outbreaks tend to follow what is happening in the general population.

However, the medical director of the Vancouver Center for Infectious Diseases indicated that only half of children under the age of 12 were fully immunized. and concerned about child immunization rates.

"Vaccination is the first line of defense," he said.

COVID still poses a risk to children, he said, with about 25% of cases developing long-term COVID. Students can also become “transmission vectors,” infecting parents, grandparents, and more vulnerable members of the community.

A file photo of Dr. Brian Conway with a rapid test.
File photo of Dr. Brian Conway undergoing a rapid test. Photo by Arlen Redekop/PNG

Schools certainly bring contact between children, but Conway said this Until his COVID wave, the classroom is a controlled environment. You can know who is in and out, who is sick and has to stay home.

As in the public sphere, some of the responsibility for responding to COVID risks has shifted to individuals.

"In a school environment, that means staying home if you're sick, washing your hands, and wearing a mask if you feel the need to do so," he said. Told.

Surrey School spokesperson Ritinder Matthew said the district expects updated guidance from the ministry, including "classroom protocols." .

"We recognize that individuals may experience varying levels of comfort when classes resume in September," she said. The health and safety of our students and staff is our "first priority".

Patricia McNeill, spokesperson for the Vancouver Board of Education, said the school district continues to follow guidelines provided by BC. CDC.

“According to current guidelines, implemented during the final months of the 2021-2022 school year, the decision to wear a mask beyond what is recommended by public health is an individual-based and personal decision. Preference."

If guidelines or directives from the state changed, the district would "turn around," she said.

"The district All schools and workplaces in Vancouver are mask-friendly environments.” Running on a platform to revive.

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