The BC Teachers Federation wants delay in restarting the school as COVID-19 cases increase

An empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary School in Vancouver on March 23, 2020.JONATHAN HAYWARD / The Canadian Press

The British Columbia Teachers Federation wants the province to postpone the start of the winter term in public schools throughout BC as cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 increase.

Numerous messages on social media posted by the BCTF and retweeted by union president Teri Mooring say provincial and district officials “need to do much more” if they intend to keep schools open in January.

The messages indicate eight expectations for the safe reopening of schools.

Provinces introduce new health policies as hospitals prepare for Omicron’s proliferation

Recommendations include: free N-95 masks and quick tests in all schools; staggered hours, breaks and lunches; and increased tests and vaccinations during the winter break.

The teachers’ union says the highly transmissible Omicron variant has “changed the pandemic”, and it says school security measures need to be changed as well.

The union says thousands of students are still unvaccinated and that many teachers and support staff have not received vaccine booster shots, so school districts and the BC government must “step in” to protect everyone in the public school system.

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