Should BC students be required to wear masks while sitting at their desks?

Poll: Masks at desks

Students at B.C. schools won’t be required to wear masks while sitting at their desks despite the U.K. variant of concern being identified on the weekend at schools in Surrey and Delta.

Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson confirmed that school protocols are working at preventing the spread of COVID-19 variants of concern in B.C. classrooms.

“We have very robust health and safety plans in place, and our experience has been where our safety plans are adhered to we see very little transmission in schools,” said Whiteside.

In fact, as many as 35 teachers were tested for a variant yesterday (Sunday) and all were negative, according to Gustafson.

Whiteside, however, recommended that schools “encourage a mask culture” in which students are told if they are moving they should be wearing a mask.

Gustafson said based on B.C.’s experience, the current mask policy is an effective policy that reflects both knowledge about how the virus is spread and an individual’s ability to comply.

“We would not recommend a change now,” Gustafson said.

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