(Files by Brendan Pawliw-MyPGNow)
The BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) is relieved the province strengthened its position on mask-wearing in schools.
President Teri Mooring said the updated guidance from the government for Grades 4 to 12 was long overdue.
“Now my understanding is that it will be a mask mandate for grades four to twelve, not just encouragement as well as strong encouragement given to students in kindergarten to also wear masks.”
She added the mandate is the same expansion of orders that were recently introduced elsewhere.
“This mandate is very similar to what we are seeing in Surrey. From my understanding, is that it will be the same wording as the Surrey order, which is very good.”
“There isn’t a part of the province that’s immune from either COVID-19 or the Variants of Concern and we know that the VOC’s are being transmitted at a much higher rate.”
The BCTF President is also banging the drum on improved ventilation in schools – an issue that has reared its ugly head on more than one occasion.
“That needs to be looked at as well. This has been an issue that we have been working on for some time. We need to see portable ventilation systems and HEPA filter systems in classrooms,” added Mooring.