Dear SD43 families and staff,
Updating our SD43 community as soon as possible whenever there are changes to guidelines, procedures or processes regarding the pandemic response has been, and will continue to be, a priority for the district. As you are aware, the pandemic response is constantly evolving, and adjustments are necessary as we continue to live with COVID-19.
Updates to the K-12 education health and safety guidelines have been announced today (October 1, 2021) by the provincial health officer and BC minister of education. Beginning Monday, October 4, 2021, all students and staff in BC schools will be required to wear a mask when inside a school building, including while at their desks. This announcement builds on the current measures for Grades 4-12 to include kindergarten to Grade 3 in all schools. Here is a brief summary of the K-12 health and safety strategies:
- Daily Health Checks for students and staff and staying home when sick.
- All students and staff wearing masks inside school buildings.
- Frequent hand washing.
- Creating space between people and managing the flow of people in common areas.
- Maintaining ventilation systems and improving fresh air flow in school buildings.
- Limiting visitors to school buildings.
SD43 will continue to be responsive to PHO and ministry of education orders and directives while continuing to work together with all our partner groups to keep schools safe for students and staff. You may view the updated K-12 health and safety guidelines in full by accessing the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings and the Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools documents.
Additionally, school communities will be able to access regional school exposure notifications on the Fraser Health School Exposure Notifications website. Fraser Health, in cooperation with school administrators, will lead the contact tracing process. To better understand how contact tracing works in schools, you may wish to access the Contact Tracing in Schools document or view the simplified Contact Tracing Infographic.
It is important that families and staff have access to the latest information available as we continue to cope with the ongoing pandemic. Increases in school exposures reflect increases within the greater community and we must continue to be diligent in taking appropriate measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on our collective health by employing as many layers of individual protection as possible, including wearing masks and distancing in public, limiting our risk of exposure when we can, and considering vaccination, if you have not already done so.