LETTER – Schools reopening goes against COVID regulations

Dear editor,

A person who had a party in his one-bedroom apartment in Victoria with 20–30 people was fined for not complying with the COVID restrictions.

Shoppers have to line up outside stores so that a limited number of people can be in the store at one time.

This person was fined and stores limit the number of people to stop the transmission of disease because we know mass gatherings and prolonged exposure contribute to the increase in number of cases.

And yet, the public health officer, and minister of education say it’s okay to have 100 per cent capacity in schools. This means that there will be 20–30 students plus a teacher and maybe an education assistant in a classroom at any given time, for six hours a day, five days a week. It is physically impossible for 20-30 people to be six feet apart in the square footage of most classrooms. This doesn’t even consider hallways.

They said that kids are a low risk, except teenagers who are basically adults. Reports from other countries are showing otherwise.

Why is there one rule for the entire rest of the province to stay apart and not to gather in large groups to reduce exposure and not for children and their teachers and staff in schools?

We are not saying to keep schools closed, we are saying we can address the educational/social/emotional needs of kids with fewer faces in our closed spaces.

Teachers are concerned. Parents are concerned. Support staff are concerned. Principals/vice-principals are concerned. Superintendents are concerned. School board trustees are concerned. It seems the only people not concerned are from the public health office and the ministry of education.

Please contact your MLA, local public health office and anyone else who might help the PHO and MOE understand that this is not fair or safe for students or anyone in the school system to gather in large groups.

Karen Langenmaier,

Courtenay

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