News
Aug 25, 2020

K-12 Bulletin #20 - COVID-19 FAQ #5

As we head into the last two weeks of summer, I hope members have been enjoying time with family and staying safe.

The deadline for districts to provide their safety plans to the government was August 21. All locals should have a copy of the safety plans for their district.

According to the K-12 Education Restart Plan, the Ministry will review all plans and confirm school district approaches. School districts and schools are expected to post final versions of plans online on August 26.

In solidarity and safety,

Warren Williams
K-12 Presidents Council President

Find all FAQs at bcschools.cupe.ca

COVID-19 FAQ #5

Health and safety

27. What are PPE requirements for first aid attendants?

Please refer to question #18 on the bcschools.cupe.ca website which deals with the need for personal protective equipment beyond routine practices.

(See pages 20 and 21 of the updated “Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings.”)


28. Why aren’t non-medical masks recommended to be worn in schools at all times?

Wearing non-medical masks at all times is not recommended in schools because there are multiple, more effective infection prevention and exposure control measures in place. These measures provide multiple layers of protection that reduce the risk of transmission. They include:

  • Ensuring students and staff stay home when they are sick or required to self-isolate, including ensuring everyone who enters the school does a daily health check
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection
  • Placing students and staff into consistent groupings of people (learning groups)
  • Adapting learning environments to maximize use of space
  • Ensuring physical distancing can be maintained between learning groups
  • Frequent hand hygiene

Members will need to review their district’s safety plans in terms of the use of masks as some may vary.

(See page 21 of the updated “Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings.”)


29
. Will there be a tracking system in place for visitors to schools?

Visitor access during school hours should be prioritized to those supporting activities that benefit student learning and well-being. Schools should ensure that visitors are aware of health and safety protocols and requirements prior to entering the school. Schools should keep a list of the date, names and contact information for any visitors who enter the school.

(See page 15 of the updated “Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings.”)


Learning groups

30.  How does physical distancing work in learning groups?

Learning groups and physical distancing are complementary strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. By organizing students and staff into learning groups, the number of different interactions and potential exposure is reduced, and contact tracing is better supported if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school community.

Within learning groups, minimizing physical contact is the rule. Those outside of a learning group must practice physical distancing when interacting with a learning group. If a two-metre distance can be maintained between people from different learning groups, two classes from different learning groups can be in the same space at the same time.

Staff outside of a learning group must practice physical distancing when interacting with the learning group. Where physical distancing is not possible, other measures must be explored, such as reconfiguring rooms, securing an alternate space to allow for physical distancing, installing a physical barrier made of transparent materials, or providing virtual services where possible.

(See pages 5, 6 and 7 of the updated “Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings.”)

 

Other

31.  Can we get a breakdown of how the $45.6 million for K-12 will be allocated?

Public schools will receive $42.5 million and private schools will receive $3.1 million through the grant.

Public School Safe Return to School Grant

                                                       ($ millions)

Reusable Masks / Face Shields                2.2

Computers and Assistive Technology     3.0

Cleaning Supplies                                          5.1

Improved Hand Hygiene                             9.2

Cleaning Frequency*                                    23.0

*This line item covers hiring additional staff for cleaning and disinfecting.

COPE 491