A sign encouraging students to wear a mask in classrooms released Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (BCTF)

A sign encouraging students to wear a mask in classrooms released Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (BCTF)

BCTF asks parents to ‘create a culture of mask wearing’ as schools excluded from new rules

New indoor mask mandate does not include schools

The union representing B.C.’s teachers is asking students to mask up in schools despite being excluded from the province’s new COVID-19 rules.

In a statement posted to social media Friday (Nov. 20), the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) urged parents to talk to their kids about wearing masks.

“While masks are not mandatory at all times in schools, we’re hoping parents can help teachers create a culture of mask wearing,” the union stated.

“We need to be doing all we can to ensure we keep each other safe.”

The BCTF went on to note that while there are students and staff who cannot wear masks and some situations where masks aren’t appropriate, starting a conversation could still makes schools a safer space.

The union’s comments came a day after a new mask mandate was issued in B.C. The new rules require masks in all indoor public and retail spaces. However, face coverings continue to be mandatory for only high-traffic areas in middle and high schools. Classroom mask wearing is not required.

When asked about why the new rules excluded schools, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said they “are not public open spaces.”

“We don’t expect children to wear masks sitting at their desks all day long,” she said. However, older students in Ontario and some Quebec schools are required to wear masks while in their classrooms.

The province recorded 516 new cases on Friday, down from a high of 762 earlier this week. There were 10 deaths on Friday, just below the record daily death toll of 11 in B.C. earlier this week.

READ MORE: Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

READ MORE: B.C. teachers’ union calls on Horgan to limit Fraser Health class sizes to 15 students


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusEducationSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former Smithereen frustrated with COVID-deniers following horrific bout with the disease

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

Pellet plants deal with a lot of combustible materials. (File photo)
“Fire-related event” at Houston pellet plant injures three, shuts down operations

Rumours of an associated explosion cannot be confirmed at this time

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce coveted Alpine Man Statue for winners of the 2020 Community and Business Awards Nov 25. (contributed photo)
Smithers Feed Store named Business of the Year

Chamber of Commerce Community and Business Awards handed out in virtual ceremony via Zoom

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read