Valley schools implement new mask protocols
Students at Courtenay's G.P. Vanier Secondary wearing masks. (Brea Dixon photo)
A reminder to Comox Valley parents, students, and school staff when spring breaks ends.
Starting on Tuesday, valley students in Grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear masks in schools, and on school buses.
The mandatory mask policy also applies to staff in all grades, as well as adult volunteers and visitors.
It’s part of a province-wide policy to stop COVID-19 outbreaks in schools and short circuit the rising number of cases across B.C.
On Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced new provincial health orders.
As a result, the education ministry has updated its Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools.
Masks must also be worn outside if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
The policy doesn’t apply to staff, students and visitors in the following circumstances:
- an individual is unable to wear a mask (for health or behavioural reasons);
- an individual is unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person;
- temporarily removed to identify the individual wearing it;
- temporarily removed to engage in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask such as actively playing a wind instrument;
- while eating or drinking;
- behind a barrier;
- while providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability, where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements are important.
Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are encouraged to wear masks within the guidelines above but are not required to do so.
This guidance has been issued along with other extensive public health measures.
You’ll be notified if these guidelines should change.
New guidance will be reflected in School District 71’s COVID-19 Occupancy Requirements and Protocols.