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B.C. school staff, middle and secondary students will be required to wear masks in high-traffic areas

Click to play video 'B.C. makes masks mandatory in school common areas' B.C. makes masks mandatory in school common areas
As the number of COVID-19 continues to spike in B.C., the province is now making masks mandatory in school common areas for middle and high school students. Keith Baldrey reports – Aug 17, 2020

The B.C. government announced Monday that school staff, middle school students and secondary students will be required to wear masks in high-traffic areas in September.

This includes buses and common areas, such as hallways, or anytime they are outside of their learning group where physical-distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cannot be maintained.

Exceptions will be made for students who cannot wear a mask for a medical reason, the province said.

Staff and students must still maintain physical distancing with people outside of their learning group at all times.

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Vancouver teacher plans all day outdoor education for kids this fall – Aug 12, 2020

Read more: Coronavirus: Details revealed for B.C’s return-to-school plan in September

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The government said it’s purchasing up to 1.5 million masks to help meet this requirement — enough for every public school staff member and student to have two masks.

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Additional funds will also be provided to ensure enhanced cleaning measures, handwashing stations, and transparent barriers are put in place on school grounds.

Districts are expected to communicate further details throughout the summer regarding schedules, learning groups, and plans to parents, students, and staff, as well as post them online by Aug. 26.

– More to come.