B.C. premier suggests school start date may be flexible

WatchIt appears as the number of cases across the province increases, the B.C. government may be bending when it comes to the start of the school year.

In recent weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases in BC has been edging up, averaging 38 cases a day.

On Sept. 8, thousands of B.C. students are scheduled to resume full-time classes.

But the BC Principals and Vice Principals Association, representing more than 2600 of BC’s principals and vice-principals, is now weighing in.  In a statement, the association asks “…that government consider a flexible start date for students to return for the fall school year, to be amended dependent upon the level of readiness in our schools.”

And on Thursday, B.C.  Premier John Horgan did not rule out delaying the start of the school year.

“The vast majority of people want to make sure we get this right. And if it takes a few more days, so be it,” Horgan said.

But today, we’re focused on starting the school year as we have planned, making sure we have provisions in place to protect workers. To protect children. And to make sure we get as safe a start as possible.”

READ MORE: B.C. premier says return to class a ‘challenge,’ but students will be safe

The spike in cases after BC moved to Phase 3 of re-opening the economy wasn’t unexpected. But with more cases, more than 80 doctors and dentists are pushing the provincial government to implement a mandatory mask policy in public places.

The group, Masks4Canada, is lobbying all levels of the Canadian government and the public that face coverings/masks are essential in the fight against the transmission of COVID-19.

“We want to keep within the physical distancing message. We want to keep within the hand hygiene message, said Dr. Anna Wolak,  a Vancouver physician, and one of the signatories

“Don’t touch your eyes, don’t touch your nose. Don’t touch your mouth.  Masks add an additional layer of protection to that.”

BC’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said while the number of cases are increasing,  British Columbians are adapting.

“We’ve done what we can to minimize transmission, we’re started to see some increase in cases. But we have put layers of protection in place. We have safely restarted our province in a slow and thoughtful, and measured way,” Henry said.

Dr. Henry says the challenges are daunting, but the virus is going to be in the community for many months.

READ MORE: Face masks, coverings to be mandatory on BC Transit as of Aug. 24

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!