COVID protocols are changing for schools following spring break. Photo by Mike Chouinard

COVID protocols are changing for schools following spring break. Photo by Mike Chouinard

COVID plans for Comox Valley schools change after spring break

Schools still encourage everyone to practise daily health checks

As Comox Valley students return to public schools following spring break, they will face some relaxed COVID protocols.

Director of instruction Jay Dixon updated school trustees at the March board meeting about the changes planned, following up on the province’s announcement.

“We’re very optimistic about after spring break,” he said.

The plan is to encourage everyone in a school community to conduct daily health checks, stay home if feeling ill and practise hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Schools can rethink classroom configurations, though Dixon added that there should still be strategies around the awareness of space between people.

Gathering at schools, for now, will still not exceed 50 per cent capacity. They can likely return to 100 per cent whenever the public health order for gatherings and events is lifted — or is expected to be lifted in early April. For visitors, schools will resume sign-in and sign-out practices.

The biggest change, Dixon said, is that the decision to wear non-medical masks or face coverings is going to become a personal choice.

“A person’s choice is to be supported by schools and our staff, and treated with respect,” he said.

He also said the district will be adding signs around buildings to emphasize this, and schools will update their plans to be in alignment with the new protocols by working with the district health and safety manager.

While there are still provisions in place, the schools will be relatively open compared with recent months.

“When we return after spring break, our schools will be looking a lot more like two years ago,” Dixon added.

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The provincial government’s website notes that masks will no longer be required following spring break for K-12 schools and that, as of April 8, proof of vaccination will not be required under a public health order to access certain businesses, services and events.

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