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How will an on-call teacher be affected by a case of COVID-19 in their classrooms?

Last Updated Sep 17, 2020 at 9:49 am PDT

FILE - Personal protection equipment is seen on the teacher's desk in classroom in preparation for the new school year at the Willingdon Elementary School in Montreal, on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

On-call teachers in B.C. asked to wear a mask, physically distance from others if they're working with more than cohort

If a teacher is told they were a close contact of anyone with COVID-19, they must self-isolate for 14 days

NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are responding to your questions in a segment we call NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.


Keith asks: “My daughter is a teacher on call as well as a two-day contractor. How will she be affected in the event of a positive COVID case in any of her classrooms?”


All school districts in the province are following guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control, which is asking on-call teachers to wear a mask or physically distance from others if they are working with more than one learning group or cohort of students.

If a student in a classroom tests positive for COVID-19, that student will then be interviewed by public health to determine how they were infected and who they were in close contact with while infectious.

If they were infectious while at school or it is determined they were infected at school, public health then has to figure out who at the school might be impacted.

Related article: If a B.C. teacher gets COVID-19, will all of their students have to self-isolate?

According to the BCCDC, confirmed close contacts are determined based on the length of time of exposure and nature of their interaction, and only public health can make that determination.

While that initial investigation is underway, the province’s safe return plan requires members of an affected learning group to isolate at home.

If a teacher is told they were a close contact, they — like anyone else — then have to self-isolate for 14 days from the last exposure and, if no symptoms develop, they can return to work after that time.

If symptoms do appear, they should get tested themselves.

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