The provincial health officer announced changes to several public health orders this week, meaning the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has updated it’s Public Health Guidance for the K-12 sector. The revised guidance will take effect on the first day of the school’s spring break.
The complete updated Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings is now online.
The major changes include:
- Masks will no longer be required, but instead a personal choice of students, staff, and visitors.
- Students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms should follow current BCCDC advice on how long to isolate. A summary of BCCDC guidance can be found in the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings, appendix A – page 28.
- People developing symptoms while at school, and who are unable to participate in regular activities, should be supported to go home.
- Schools can go back to routine visitor policies, and routine pick up/drop off practices.
- Events taking place in schools with only students, staff and necessary volunteers from that school can be 100 percent capacity. Events taking place in schools that include people beyond that school should be limited to 50 people or 50 percent capacity, whichever is greater. Once the PHO Gatherings and Events Order is lifted on April 7, all events can return to 100 percent capacity.
- Events and field trips taking place in venues outside a school can take place with proof of vaccination, but schools should make every effort not to plan activities that might exclude someone if proof of vaccination is required.
Schools are being directed to continue to be supportive in environments where both those continuing or not continuing with personal prevention practices (e.g., wearing a mask or face covering) will be supported and treated with respect.