As COVID-19 cases mount, more must be done to keep our classrooms safe: BC Liberals

OPPOSITION Education Critic Jackie Tegart on Monday called on Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and her NDP government to explain their lack of action as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in B.C. schools.

We have been calling for additional actions and protections for our schools since September 1, but the NDP have been sluggish in their response to the evolving situation in our classrooms,” said Tegart. “It’s time [Premier] John Horgan and Minister Whiteside took a proactive ​rather than reactive approach to rising COVID cases, and provide our students and educators with the protections and assurances they need to feel safe in our schools and classrooms.”

The BC Liberal caucus is calling on Whiteside to take the following actions:

* Reinstate the COVID notification system, with improvements that better meet the needs of parents;
* Provide an in-depth update of the progress of ventilation upgrades in B.C. schools;
* Provide more remote learning options for students and families;
* Offer enhanced contact tracing in classrooms to identify clusters and outbreaks and properly inform B.C. educators and families; and
* Enact greater use of rapid testing as an additional layer of identification and protection against COVID in classrooms.
“British Columbians are looking for the tools and information they need to make informed decisions and protect students, teachers, and support staff,” said Tegart. “It’s high time this government took the crucial steps that the Opposition and British Columbians have been calling for to continue our children’s education in the safest way possible.”