Kamloops mom 'livid' about COVID-19 letter from SD73

COVID letter upsets mom

Kamloops mom Donna Slater was "livid" when she was asked to sign a COVID-19 agreement letter from her child’s elementary school which states, "Students may still attend school if a member of their household has cold, influenza, or COVID-19-like symptoms, provided the student is asymptomatic."

"This just puts it over the top for me, like if I'm sick with flu-like symptoms that I would send my child to school," Slater says.

The local resident says she's driven by the school at recess time and kids are touching the same surfaces and playing close together, which is impossible to control.

"They have just closed the clubs again because adults cannot be in close proximity but somehow it's OK that we put all the children into the school. There's been so many mixed messages," she continues.  

The letter was sent to parents by School District 73, which says it's following provincial protocols.

"Our school district is following the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Education, the BCCDC, and the provincial health officer. We know these are shifting over time. As we take in the information from the Ministry of Education, we relay that to our families and to our staff," SD73 assistant superintendent Trish Smillie tells Castanet.

In an emailed statement, the Ministry of Education tells Castanet: "The ministry will continue to follow the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer. As per the BCCDC guidelines for K-12 schools: Students or staff may still attend school if a member of their household develops new symptoms of illness, provided the student/staff has no symptoms themselves. If the household member tests positive for COVID-19, public health will advise the asymptomatic student/staff on self-isolation and when they may return to school. Most illness experienced in B.C. is not COVID-19, even if the symptoms are similar."

Despite what the government says, Slater says she won’t sign the agreement because she feels the protocols put in place for COVID-19 are unclear and contradictory.

"I think I would just like them to acknowledge and bring some clarity to the different rules that are applying to the youngest of our population," Slater adds. "I'm worried. It feels kind of like they're using the kids as guinea pigs, and it's just wrong."

The only other option Slater has at this point would be to switch her child back to online schooling. She says there's now a waiting period. 

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