Health officials in British Columbia have announced a mandatory school mask policy for all K to 12 students and staff across the province.
The announcement was made on Friday morning by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside.
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Henry describes the measure as “one more layer” of protection for children and teachers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. It will remain in effect until the end of the school term and will apply to while students are inside a school building, at their desks, and on buses.
“This pandemic continues to evolve and so do we,” Henry said. “We need to make changes to fit the situation as it’s arising. We know the COVID-19 virus is being transmitted more rapidly, particularly to those who don’t have the protection that vaccination offers.”
“This extra measure adds another layer of protection as we navigate this phase of the pandemic.”
The mandate comes into effect after a number of districts in the province announced their own policies.
On September 27, the Vancouver School Board unanimously passed a motion that requires students from Kindergarten to Grade 3 to wear masks.
Health officials also announced that starting this month, the PHO will release a new monthly report meant to inform families and British Columbians about the virus, specifically how it effects school-aged childrens.
Regional Medical Health Officers can also continue to recommend local and regional COVID-19 measures and restrictions, should the need arise.