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Three-quarters of British Columbians think masks should be mandatory for school

Last Updated Jul 21, 2020 at 6:51 am PST

FILE - In this June 10, 2020, file photo, Olivia Chan's father helps her with a new mask she received during a graduation ceremony for her Pre-K class in front of Bradford School in Jersey City, N.J. As the Trump administration pushes full steam ahead to force schools to resume in-person education, public health experts warn that a one-size-fits-all reopening could drive infection and death rates even higher. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Most British Columbians think children should wear masks in school, according to a new poll

About six-in-10 Canadians say they are worried about kids heading back to school this fall

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Just a few more weeks until it is back to class — one way or another — for kids in B.C., and the latest poll suggests most British Columbians think children should be in PPE while learning their ABCs.

About three-quarters polled by Leger say students should be required to wear masks at school, either all the time or at least outside the classroom at lunch and recess.

RELATED: B.C. educators plan back-to-school as students wind down for summer

Nationally, that number drops a little to more than six-in-10 respondents.

Leger Vice President Christian Borque feels support for masks at school will only grow as more jurisdictions adopt mask measures for public spaces.

“The more we consider this potential for making masks mandatory, the more I think parents will probably find that the masks should be mandatory in schools, as well,” he says.

Overall, about six-in-10 Canadians say they are worried about kids heading back to school this fall.

Half polled feel classrooms should only be at 50 per cent capacity and 59 per cent would support a hybrid school week with some in-class instruction and some at-home learning.

B.C. is looking to return to more in-class instruction in September, if it is safe to do so.

Classroom learning was suspended in March over concerns about the possible spread of COVID-19, with the province implementing at-home learning for most students.

In June, parents were given the option to send their children back to school part-time, with reduced numbers in the classroom.

Education Minister Rob Fleming called the June school restart successful and said it will help to plan for September.