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B.C. making masks mandatory for school staff, some students in 'common areas'

Last Updated Aug 17, 2020 at 2:22 pm PST

FILE - Packages of face masks on April 29, 2020. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera

The Ministry of Education is requiring masks in 'high traffic' and 'common areas' for all staff, students Grade 6 and up

Masks will not be required in classrooms or when students are interacting with their learning groups

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Masks will be required for all K-12 staff and all students in middle and high schools when B.C. classes are back in session.

But they won’t be required in the classroom.

The mandate applies to “high traffic” and “common areas” such as hallways and buses, or “anytime outside of their learning group whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained,” according to the Ministry of Education.

“Even when wearing a mask, staff and students will still be required to maintain physical distance from people outside of their learning group. Efforts will be put in place to ensure there is not crowding, gathering or congregating of people from different learning groups in a school setting, even if non-medical masks are being worn,” says a news release.

Exceptions will be made for students or staff with medical conditions preclude mask-wearing.

The Ministry says enough funding is available to purchase 1.5 million masks — which works out to two per person.