Nov 10, 2020

K-12 Bulletin #36 - PHO and masks

Being called upon to adjust to new changes as COVID continues, can be challenging. But if we all do our part and follow the PHO orders, hopefully we will flatten the curve in our communities and in our schools.

In solidarity and safety,

Warren Williams
K-12 Presidents Council President

View PDF.

PHO issues new orders for Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health Regions

On November 7, 2020, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued an order to limit social interactions in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley to those who live in the same household for the next two weeks.

The order is aimed at reducing social interactions so that schools and workplaces can remain open. Henry says that it is incredibly important that we slow the virus.

Henry said that the foundational layers of protection and the minimal but important province-wide orders have not changed. Basic measures that all individuals need to take to prevent transmission of this virus are: cleaning our hands regularly; making sure we cover our cough and not touch our face; keeping our safe distance, particularly from people we don’t know when we’re in public spaces; and, wearing a mask when we cannot maintain physical distancing, particularly in indoor locations.

School districts do not need to change their health and safety procedures in response to this order and should continue to follow the existing protocols and guidelines in the COVID-19 Operational Guidelines and the Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings. The BCCDC has also set up a new epidemiology dashboard that will be updated on Tuesdays and Fridays. The information will show cases as well as number of tests in each given location.

The PHO also said that the outbreak at École de l’Anse-au-sable in Kelowna has been declared over and students and staff are back in class.

Watch the Nov. 7 update here, starting at 5:41.

You can watch the Nov. 9 update here starting at 4:54.



As science and medical evidence comes in with respect to this pandemic, things change frequently. The following information on masks is from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Here you’ll find information about proper material, structure and fit; children and masks; use and storage; safety considerations, etc.

How well a mask or face covering works depends on the materials used, how the mask is made, and most importantly, how well it fits.

A mask or face covering can be homemade or purchased, and should be made of at least three layers. Two layers should be tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen and the third (middle) layer should be a filter-type fabric.

The mask should:

  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping
  • allow for easy breathing
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • l be comfortable and not require frequent adjustments
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • maintain its shape after washing and drying

Filters add an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 by trapping small infectious particles.

Consider wearing a mask that includes a filter or filter material as one of its layers.

Reusable masks with a non-woven filter layer should be washed daily, and can be washed multiple times.

Disposable filters should be changed daily or as directed by the manufacturer.


COPE 491