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Back to school in B.C.: Here are the measures in place to keep kids safe

CTV News Vancouver – 

The ministry says about 60,000 students were in class on Monday, or about 30 per cent of what it calls “expected enrolment.”

Among the groups with the largest rate of return were Grade 6 students – nearly half of the amount expected were present on the first day. But less than 15 per cent of Grade 12s came back, the ministry says.

Those who did come back saw changes including:

  • limiting the number of students in school, avoiding groups or gatherings of students in hallways or other common areas and taking students outside more often;
  • regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces like door knobs, toilet seats, keyboards and desks at least twice a day, and cleaning the school building at least once a day;
  • staggered drop-offs, lunch and recess breaks, with increased outside time; and
  • asking staff and students (or their parents/guardians) to assess themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19, with clear policies not to come to school if unwell. If any student or staff member has even mild symptoms, arrangements will be made for that person to be returned home.

The voluntary return to school was announced last month, and work was done to prepare schools and ensure physical distancing measures are in place when possible. 

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry previously described the approach schools were taking as “cautious,” adding that it will help them plan ahead to the fall. 

“This cautious approach will help us learn and help us understand and have the tools that we need for a broader reopening come September,” she said over the weekend.

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