VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As schools prepare to partially re-open next week, the provincial health officer shares a glimpse into what students will see this summer.
Dr. Bonnie Henry is confident schools re-opening next week will be much cleaner than they were this time last year.
“It is absolutely my expectation, and I know school districts and individual schools are working very hard to ensure that they do have those in place. So, I expect there will be a change from what people have seen in the past,” she says.
Henry adds the Ministry of Education is overseeing all the enhanced sanitation and several improvements have already been made before schools closed in March.
With students having the option of returning to schools part-time next week, Henry also says wearing non-medical masks or face coverings will not be required.
Q Will masks at schools ever be needed – esp for staff
Dr Henry: don’t see them req ongoing in that setting. Optional if want.
Other measures are more important – fewer kids in same group, staggered times, distance, not touching each other, hand hygiene#bcpoli #covid19 @news1130
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) May 26, 2020
“We don’t see non-medical masks as being required on an ongoing basis in that setting. They are optional for people who feel that it’s an extra layer that they want to do to protect others from their droplets,” she explains.
Then, as students head into their summer break, Henry also announced there won’t be any overnight camps allowed for school-age children. Instead, she is encouraging day camps.
“There’s not a situation that we can see this summer where overnight camps for youth, for school-aged kids can be done in a way that would prevent transmission of this virus,” Henry says.
Last question re: overnight camps for kids, Henry says she’s previously made it clear with faith leaders and everyone else that’s a bad idea.
She continues to discourage that over the summer, but supports day camps as long as numbers are low and physical distancing is possible.
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) May 26, 2020
“The other issues that we’re seeing around many of these camps, they are in more remote areas where it can be a challenge to access health care, or there are concerns from some communities that it could be people, children, coming from many different areas and having effects.”