VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The province’s health officer insists the school restart plan announced last week makes physical distancing a priority.
On Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said she won’t support a push by the B.C. Teachers Federation to delay the start of classes a few weeks because “We just need to set a date and plan for it.” But concerns have been raised about grouping too many kids together in cohorts of 60 or 120.
“We’re going to be in segregating different ways in different schools. That’s why I can’t be specific,” she said.” There are 60 school districts and each of them have to look at ways that they can do it with students and the numbers that they have, as well as being able to do contact tracing if we need to.”
Henry added since the plan is not a one size fits all, a maximum number has been set.
“We know that there’s opportunities for different types of classes that different students will need, so to be able to offer at least some variations, you have the potential that people might be in certain classes, but there’s ways of reducing that risk.”
When the province announced their plans on July 29, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation President Teri Mooring said more time and work were needed to make it successful and keep everyone safe.
“If the plan is rushed or too many questions are left unanswered, it won’t be successful. Bringing everyone back all at once, even with some version of a cohort model, on the first day after the Labour Day long weekend, is too much too soon given the many unanswered questions,” she said.
On Tuesday, the province recorded 146 new infections, no new deaths over four days.
The number of people who died because of COVID-19 remains at 195 and there are now 3,787 confirmed cases in B.C.