Monday, October 3, 2022

British Columbia plans ‘advanced security measures’ for individual returnees from K to 12.

The BC government is currently planning individual continuous learning when K-12 students return to class with safety measures in place in the new year.

British Columbia plans 'advanced security measures' for individual returnees from K to 12.

In a statement, the education minister says it is working closely with public health during the holidays to formulate specific direction for schools for students and staff returning to schools in January.

“With the arrival of the version of COVID-19, Omicron is monitoring the public health data extremely carefully,” the statement said.

“We will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health and the provincial health official to ensure that we are following the science and have the right safety measures in place for students and staff.”

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The provincial K-12 steering committee met last week and again on Monday to discuss the new measures. The committee is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday with the goal of finalizing better safety measures for schools.

Some jurisdictions, including Manitoba and Quebec, are delaying starting schools until January 10.

School districts, independent school officials and the public are expected to be notified of the new safety measures this week before returning to class.

“Individualized learning is important for the social and emotional well-being of students,” the statement said.

“The health and well-being of students, faculty and staff is our top priority, and we are committed to ensuring that all students are able to learn and are fully supported as the pandemic develops.”

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The province has committed to making rapid tests available to the school system, but they will not be available from mid-January until the end of January.

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Some of these tests will be used to support the continuity of individual learning for K-12 students and staff, with 500,000 separate sets deployed for K-12 as needed.

There will be no specific provision for prioritizing school staff for the vaccine.

The province will provide a full update on the booster rollout and dosage administered on Wednesday, including further unbooked appointment capacity.

“Many school staff were prioritized for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and then may have received an invitation early for their second dose. Consequently, the same school staff will receive the first booster dose invitation, based on an interval of at least six months between the second dose and the booster shot as recommended by the NACI,” a health ministry statement read.

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