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Administrators and Districts

Sector leaders can find K-12 guidance and tools to support low-risk in-person learning in schools and resources for working with parents and communities.
Last updated: September 3, 2021
While schools will look closer-to-normal in September, we’re not back to normal just yet. Effective prevention measures are still in place to keep schools low-risk for COVID-19. 
 
Students and staff can attend school safely when we work together to follow public health guidelines. 

  • Everyone eligible gets two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Schools implement communicable disease plans.
  • Students, staff and parents/caregivers follow school communicable disease plans. 
  • Regions add measures when there is greater risk in a community. 
  • Public health conducts contact tracing for every case of COVID-19. 
Together, these measures help prevent the spread of communicable diseases like COVID-19 in schools. We all have a role to play in making our schools safer. 

The public health guidance for schools has been updated for the 2021/22 school year. 

Check back in early September 2021 for more information. 
Guidance for Prevention
Every school in B.C. must have a communicable disease plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Plans include multiple layers of protection: 

  • Spreading people out within the available space
  • Keeping detailed attendance records to help contact tracing
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces 
  • Ensuring ventilation systems are working effectively
  • Providing many opportunities for hand cleaning
  • Requiring most students and staff to wear masks indoors.
Public health guidance informs the Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 School Settings, developed by the Ministry of Education with Indigenous rightsholders, K-12 education and health partners. Schools and school districts must follow these guidelines. 

In communities where there is increased risk, a local Medical Health Officer may recommend additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

The resources below provide school administrators with the information they need to implement safety measures.  

Frequently Asked Questions

If a regional or provincial recommendation or Order is placed that impacts your school, the school or school district will be notified by public health. This will include information about which measures should be implemented in your school.

 

Resources for School Community
School administrators and school district staff play an important role in keeping schools low-risk. By helping staff, students and their families understand prevention measures and encouraging compliance, school administrators can reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools.

Additional resources can be found on the Ministry of Education’s website.

Check back for more information and resources in early September 2021.

COVID-19 Cases in Schools
When COVID-19 spreads in a community, there is a risk that it will be in schools in that community. Sometimes people have COVID-19 and don’t know it. Nobody means to bring COVID-19 into a school.  

Last year most school exposures did not result in any more cases. When they did, it was typically one or two other cases. With many people fully vaccinated and effective prevention measures in place, schools are expected to be low-risk for COVID-19.

Contact Tracing in Schools

Public health follows up on every person who tests positive for COVID-19 at school. This process is called contact tracing. Contact tracing helps to identify other people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Public health may ask these people to take specific actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

What happens when someone who attends or works at school tests positive for COVID-19

If a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19:

  1. Public health officials ask when their symptoms started and where they’ve been. This helps public health know if they were able to spread COVID-19 at school.

    • If they were able to spread COVID-19 at school,  this is called an exposure. Public health notifies the school district and begins contact tracing.  

    • If they were not able to spread COVID-19 at school, public health still makes sure anyone who may be a close contact outside of school is notified.

  2. Contact tracing helps determine close contacts of the person who tested positive. These are usually staff or students who spent a lot of time around the person who tested positive. 

    • Public health tells staff or students they are close contacts through a phone call or letter. They will be told to self-monitor or self-isolate. The name of the person who tested positive is not shared.

  3. Staff and students who are not close contacts don’t have an increased chance of catching COVID-19. They are not contacted by public health. 

    • Those who are not contacted by public health can continue to attend school.


Check back in early September 2021 to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting vaccinated isn’t mandatory. Staff and children who aren’t vaccinated can still attend school.

Public health strongly recommends everyone who is eligible to get two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. This protects them and the people around them.
 
 


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