THIS week, children across British Columbia will transition back to school after the summer break. For many, this will be their first time setting foot into a classroom since the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. To address public health concerns parents and teachers may have during back-to-school season, Fraser Health has created new online resources to answer common questions.
“While the return to school is traditionally an exciting time for parents, teachers and students alike, this year people may have questions about the public health measures that are being taken to support the return to in-classroom activities,” said Dr. Ingrid Tyler, Fraser Health Medical Health Officer. “Fraser Health Public Health continues to work closely with school districts and our Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education partners to support students’ return to school. We encourage everyone to continue protecting themselves and others by staying home when you’re not feeling well, maintaining appropriate physical distance, washing your hands frequently, and keeping your social circle small and consistent.”
Fraser Health’s new back-to-school resources for parents and teachers include a COVID-19 Q&A page focused on the return to school as well as a video Q&A featuring Tyler speaking to COVID-19’s impact on the classroom environment.
Fraser Health’s new COVID-19 Q&A page provides answers to questions such as:
· What safety measures are being put in place to prevent transmission of COVID-19 in schools?
· How can parents, teachers and school staff support return to school?
· How will the return to school impact community transmission?
· What happens if there is a COVID-19 exposure in a school?
· What do I do if I receive a notice that there has been an exposure at my child’s school?
In addition, the video Q&A featuring Dr. Tyler shares helpful information for parents, with answers to questions including:
· How can I help prepare my child for return to school?
· How do cohorts help prevent transmission of COVID-19 in schools?
· When would a child, teacher or school staff member be required to self-isolate?
· If my child has been potentially exposed to COVID-19, do they need to stay home from school?
To further support parents and teachers during back-to-school season, Fraser Health’s Healthy Back to School Guide provides parents with tips on how to manage back-to-school anxiety and prepare healthy lunches their children will eat, among others.
Fraser Health has also posted a comprehensive school health web resource to provide parents and teachers with information about topics such as kindergarten readiness, mental wellness, support services for children, and resources for teachers and administrators.