Samantha Li / Edge columnist
“B.C.’s education minister says the province is looking to fill ‘gaps’ in safety plans in order to prevent school-based COVID-19 transmission.” Reported by Richard Zussman, a staff reporter from Global News.
According to the report, Jennifer Whiteside, B.C.’s education minister, told reporters on Tuesday there continues to be minimal transmission in schools. People are still not doing the self-assessments before going to the schools, and no sharing of supplies is not ensured.
The latest notification of Covid-19 exposure from school district 43 is on March 3, which indicates exposures from Heritage Woods Secondary, Riverside Secondary, Eagle Mountain Middle, and Pitt River Middle communities. In addition, 6 cases were found inside Gleneagle during the past three weeks, raising students’ and parents’ tension towards the pandemic.
The province claimed that six regional Covid-19 response teams are in place to help schools with safety, based on the article. Plus, “rapid response teams are a critically important addition to the health and safety measures that are keeping schools safe for students and staff,” Whiteside said.
The difference has been noticed since the start of schools’ exposures, masks are required now in class, the deep cleaning team has been helping around Gleneagle campus. However, students are still seen outside eating lunch without being socially distanced, and there are nearly no regulations around that.
Just like Whiteside said that people are not doing their self-assessments, moreover, it is more about awareness. Since the awareness was not very high previously, there were situations including taking off masks after school, not socially distanced with friends, not using sanitizer, and crowded before or after class.
During this time, all school members are experiencing quite a little lack of protection, especially teachers, causing a greater risk of covid cases rises around schools. The news article also mentioned that “the B.C. Teachers’ Federation raises concerns over new WorkSafeBC data”. Since teachers are contacting a large group of people every day, more caution and protection are needed, which are not enough currently.
It can clearly tell that B.C.’s education team is working on filling gaps between schools, but more is needed in terms of the details. It would be much better if they can focus more on individuals and implement those regulation rules strictly.