Delta’s school board chair is urging families to remain vigilant and continue to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
In a letter to parents to start the new year, Val Windsor says there has been anxiety in the school community, particularly in recent weeks with the significant number of positive cases of coronavirus infections in the Lower Mainland.
She said the board of education has been impressed with how well students have adjusted to the many health and safety protocols in place at schools.
However, COVID-19 fatigue is becoming a reality for many, she said, adding the school district is reminding families to ensure their children continue to help bend the curve and transmission by following the extensive safety procedures.
Those measures include staying home when not feeling well, as well as completing the daily health check, seeking a COVID test as soon as possible after mild symptoms occur, washing/sanitizing hands frequently, wearing masks in high-traffic areas and when physical distancing is not possible, as well as avoiding gathering with anyone outside of their household out of school hours, including directly before and after school.
Families are also reminded to answer their phone, even if it is an unknown number, as it could help the contact tracing process in case Fraser Health is trying to get in touch.
Mask wearing in classrooms remains optional, something the B.C. Teachers Federation and Delta Teachers Association have called to change and make masks mandatory.
Windsor also noted the Delta board in November heard a presentation from Dr. Réka Gustafson, B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer, who noted the pattern of transmission of COVID-19 is now well understood and that public health knows what safety measures work.
How individuals interact at school, and who interacts at school, are very different than in other settings, explained Windsor, adding that, as a result, the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools is substantially lower than in other settings.
Additional safety measures in schools are not needed at this time, the board was told.
“Given the low transmission rate in schools, it appears that the health and safety measures we have in place currently are working. We will continue to take our lead from the Provincial Health Officer, and will implement any new protocols that are introduced,” added Windsor.