British Columbia Plans “Enhanced Security Measures” for K-12 In-Person Return | The Canadian News

Currently, the BC government is planning to continue in-person learning when K-12 students return to the classroom in the new year with improved safety measures.

In a statement, the education minister says it is working closely with public health over the holidays to prepare a specific address for schools before students and staff return to schools in January.

“With the arrival of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the public health is monitoring the data very carefully,” the statement read.

“We will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer to ensure that we are following the science and have adequate security measures for students and staff.”

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

Some jurisdictions, including Manitoba and Quebec, are delaying the start of classes until January 10.

The new safety measures are expected to be communicated to school districts, independent school authorities and the public this week, before returning to the classroom.

“In-person learning is critical to the social and emotional well-being of students,” the statement read.

“The health and well-being of students, teachers, and staff is our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that all students can learn and receive full support as the pandemic evolves.”

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The province has committed to making rapid tests available to the school system, but they won’t be available until mid-to-late January.

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Some of these tests will be used to support continuity of in-person learning for K-12 students and staff, with 500,000 reserved for K-12 to be implemented as needed.

There will be no special provisions to prioritize school personnel for vaccination.

The province will provide a full update on the booster release and the doses delivered on Wednesday, including any additional capacity for unreserved appointments.

“Many school staff members were prioritized early to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and then they would have received the invitation for their second dose early. As a result, the same school personnel will receive their booster dose invitations sooner, according to the NACI recommended interval of at least six months between the second dose and the booster injection, ”a statement from the Ministry of Health reads.

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