Earlier today, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside announced a Kindergarten to Grade 12 mask mandate for all schools in B.C. Beginning Monday, October 4, all students in Coast Mountains School District 82 (CMSD82) will be required to wear non-medical face masks while indoors, including at their desks and on school buses. Masks will be available for students that may not have their own.
As always, students will not be required to wear a mask if they are unable to for health or behavioural reasons. A full list of exemptions can be found on the B.C. Ministry COVID-19 Safe Schools website. School personnel will ensure that students exempt from wearing a mask are supported.
Today’s new order was developed under the guidance and direction of the Public Health Officer (PHO) and B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), in consultation with education partners, as an extra measure of protection to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
The health, safety, and well-being of students and staff, continues to be a top priority for our School District. This expanded mask mandate will provide an additional layer of protection to CMSD82 schools in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses.
Earlier this week, the PHO announced an updated exposure notification process. Individuals who are directly affected by an exposure will be contacted directly – there will not be a school-wide announcement following each exposure. You will find all potential exposures listed on the Northern Health website.
Finally, vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools and everyone eligible is strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Ongoing health and safety measures for all students and staff:
- Complete the Daily Health Checklist before coming to school.
- Stay home when sick.
- All Kindergarten to Grade 12 staff and students must wear masks while indoors, including at their desks and on school buses.
- Focus on washing or sanitizing hands.
- Continued monitoring and enhancing building ventilation.
- Continued cleaning and disinfecting.
Helpful links to more information by accessing the following links:
- Today’s announcement Expanded Health, Safety Measures for K-12 Students
- B.C. Ministry COVID-19 Safe Schools website
- CMSD82 Communicable Disease Prevention Plan – Revised October 1, 2021
- BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Data Summary – September 23, 2021
- Northern Health COVID-19 Information
- Updated Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings
- How Contact Tracing Works in Schools
- Contact Tracing Infographic
Ensuring a safe, healthy, and supportive learning environment is a priority for our School District. Should you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your School Principal. If you have specific questions related to COVID-19, please forward your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org which comes directly to my email inbox.
Please stay safe and check in with us regularly on our website at www.cmsd.bc.ca or Twitter @CoastMtnSD.
Janet Meyer, Superintendent of Schools
Letter in PDF Format: