As the Fraser Health Authority is responding to a rapidly spreading variant of COVID-19 in their schools, officials in the capital region are closely monitoring the situation

Winona Waldron, president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, said the news of a variant of COVID-19 in a school setting was worrying, according to health officials, tests so far suggest that cases are with the variant first identified in the UK related

“We’re already seeing increased exposure in our schools, which only exacerbates the situation and adds to that fear,” she said

While the rules for wearing masks in schools have been tightened lately, Waldron said she’d like to see them stricter

BC. Teachers Association President Teri Mooring said she disagrees with the current policy requiring masking for middle and high school students in the home but not at their desks Henry said it was the same as in offices or restaurants , but Mooring said the students sit close together and the other environments don’t compare well to schools

Mooring said she would like to see masks that are compulsory for ages 10 and up, and possibly a system where students in severely affected schools do not attend full-time classes. “It has really become clear that some schools in districts are much harder hit than others, “she said

Education Secretary Jennifer Whiteside said Monday the variant was discovered at one school in Delta and six in Surrey. Rapid tests were conducted on Sunday and Monday, with all 35 Surrey School District employees tested on Sunday found negative for COVID-19 were

She noted that tests showed that the first variant found in a school did not result in transmission, “This tells us our health and safety protocols are working”

Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr Reka Gustafson said the guidelines for masks in schools are based on an individual’s ability to comply with them and that there are no plans to make changes

She said testing is one of the most important tools for managing COVID-19, and the province has begun deploying new technology that will enable screening of variants that increased screening led to the detection of more variants, she said / p>

Dave Eberwein, superintendent of the Saanich School District, said it was important to listen to what the provincial authorities said

“We are making sure that we continue to follow the advice of the health officer and the education minister,” he said. “Of course we keep an eye on things to make sure our schools, our students and our staff are safe”

According to Island Health, anyone who may have been at high risk will be contacted by public health and instructed to self-isolate Those who have not been contacted should continue to go to school as long as they have no symptoms

A joint statement by Henry and Secretary of Health Adrian Dix said there are 28 new confirmed cases of worrying variants, a total of 101 fifty-eight of which were found in the Fraser Health area

A total of 1428 COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C since Friday, including 99 in the Island Health region

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World News – CA – Discovery of the COVID-19 variant in BC. Schools are of concern in the capital region

Source: https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/discovery-of-covid-19-variant-in-b-c-schools-creates-concern-in-capital-region-1.24285524