The BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) held a recent survey where 71% of teachers felt they weren’t receiving enough information about COVID-19 cases and exposures in their schools and districts.

The Federation found inconsistencies in how COVID-19 events are defined in the K-12 education sector compared to other sectors.

“It’s unacceptable that, over a year-and-a-half into this pandemic, there is still no province-wide consistency in how exposures and clusters in schools are defined and reported,” said BCTF President Teri Mooring.

“Parents and teachers look to their school district and local health authority for information about what’s happening in their schools, and it has become very clear that the information provided and the communication to school communities is not painting an accurate picture. Trust in the system has been broken.”

A lack of timeliness for contact tracing and notification, and inconsistent policies revolving around exposure notification were some of the other issues found in the sector.

The BCTF said in a release that it wants the government to address these issues:

  • standardize definitions of exposure, cluster, and outbreak across all health authorities.
  • take steps to address reported delays in contact tracing in all health authorities and in particular the Northern Health region.
  • address transparency and consistency concerns by posting and communicating all school exposure notices broadly to school communities.

The BC Government announced over the weekend that vaccine mandates would be left to local school boards, but the Federation said it wants a province-wide mandate to maintain consistency.

 

With files from the Vista Wire