Julia Lopez / Staff reporter
According to an article “Coquitlam parent worried about long wait for school isolation letter,” written by Diane Strandberg, a Coquitlam parent says the delay of Fraser Health sending a self-isolation letter could cause more COVID-19 cases at her child’s school. The letter saying students who attended Scott Creek middle school on Feb. 8, 10 and 11 should self-isolate for 14 days was received by Shari O’Neill on Feb. 21.
“I’m just not understanding how this is being allowed to get out of control, what are they waiting for?” said O’Neill. Most of the students in her son’s class are doing remote learning luckily at home. Families were notified by a parent and a teacher as soon as one was affected which O’Neill found helpful. Fraser Health has sought to change how it notifies parents and staff of an exposure and has the responsibility to communicate information to parents.
Exposures at Scott Creek on Feb 8, 11, 12, and 17 were stated in Fraser Health’s website and a letter was sent out to parents regarding a Feb. 16 exposure. Students will be remote learning in O’Neill’s sons’ class till Monday, March 1 when students can go back to school.
For a total of 30 schools including a francophone and two independent schools in School District 43 had specified new COVID-19 exposure dates since last Friday. Eight schools in Coquitlam, three in Port Coquitlam and three in Port Moody.
More mask wearing in elementary schools and a smaller number of students in a class to deal with variants is asked by The BC Teachers Federation.
Parents are not the only ones worried about COVID-19 cases and self-isolation letters being sent out late, but students as well are concerned.
Maya Wong, a grade 10 student at Gleneagle says the letters about COVID-19 exposures should be received earlier. She did not get a letter about an exposure in her class and the letter regarding it was sent out 4 days later. “People think they can still go out even though a self-isolation letter wasn’t sent out to them,” says Maya.
She thinks if more BC COVID-19 protocols were made at an earlier time, cases would be less. Middle Schools and Elementary schools having mandatory masks would be more safer and students do not have to feel uncomfortable being at school.
“Schools could have a better teaching system, for example, having one grade that goes to school on one day and a different grade on another day, parents and grandparents don’t have to worry as much if their child was in remote learning and can be aware of their own safety.” mentioned Maya.
Another student at Gleneagle, Grade 10, Jordan Lopez agrees too. “Students and parents would want to know what’s going on in schools and classes immediately especially during this time of a pandemic.” says Jordan.
Although many schools are following restrictions as wearing masks, cases are still going up. Should all students in BC go back to remote learning like last year? Jordan says it depends. From knowing what it’s like having online classes and face to face classes so far, he feels that keeping each other safe and still going to school to make sure we understand what we’re learning is important.
Jordan said, “I usually don’t get to distracted a lot with videogames while having face-to-face classes. I still get to see my friends occasionally but now that there are may exposures happening, its best to be in remote learning.”