VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With students back in school amid surging COVID-19 cases in B.C., the teacher’s union is asking the province to give districts clear direction when it comes to COVID-19 safety, including mask-wearing.
BC Teachers’ Federation president Teri Mooring says she wants the province to stop deferring all decisions to health officials and take on the responsibility.
She says the lack of unity has caused issues.
“It speaks to the need for provincial coordination,” she tells NEWS 1130. “We’ve been really working on this for some time. You just need that provincial leadership. Yes, there are individual differences in districts and there needs to be some flexibility there, but the more that can be directed provincially the better.”
Mooring says she’s hoping provincial coordination, communication, and data transparency will be improved.
“Government has the responsibility to take the guidance from the provincial health office and use that, but they also need to make their own decisions. You can’t just defer it.”
BCTF made their briefing notes that were given to the new education minister last month publicly available.
Nearly 50 infections were linked to five classes at a Surrey school before the new semester started, renewing calls for mask-wearing in class.
“I hope that government is seeing, like I am seeing, out in the public a general kind of concern that there aren’t enough safety measures put in place in school. I mean it doesn’t really pass the smell test that there isn’t a robust mask policy at play,” Mooring says.
She adds sharing school COVID-19 cases data is another area Mooring says needs to be better.
Some parents have been calling for more transparency from the health and education ministries to quell concerns in the first week. Without clearer information about COVID-19 school exposures, some are feeling extra nervous.