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Coronavirus: B.C. could still extend winter break for students

Click to play video 'Dr. Bonnie Henry on possibly delaying the start of school after winter break' Dr. Bonnie Henry on possibly delaying the start of school after winter break
During a Facebook Live on Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry was asked about possibly extending the winter break for schools across the province. She said it's something they're looking at all the time and will be looking closely at the modelling numbers this week – Dec 22, 2020

B.C.’s provincial health officer says the province is still looking at extending the winter break for students amid the coronavirus pandemic.

During a Facebook Live interview with Global News Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said the idea of delaying the return to school in January by two weeks is not completely off the table.

“You know, we’re looking at it all the time and the things that we need to do,” she said.

“We’re going to be talking about that later this week to present our modelling and the things that are happening here.”

Henry added that officials know schools are a safe place for kids. “Much safer than many other situations,” she said. “And we know that that’s one of the reasons we want to keep our schools open.”

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Coronavirus: Henry says B.C. is seeing ‘levelling’ of COVID-19 curve – Dec 21, 2020

Read more: Coronavirus: Government delays return of in-person classes for Ontario schools

Ontario, meanwhile, has announced it will extend the winter break for an additional two weeks into January.

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Many B.C. teachers and administrators have expressed their concern to Henry and demanded stronger measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in classrooms.

In an open letter published in mid-December, members of the Surrey Teachers’ Association said “we are not safe.”

Click to play video 'Surrey teachers to Dr. Bonnie Henry: ‘We are not safe’' Surrey teachers to Dr. Bonnie Henry: ‘We are not safe’
Surrey teachers to Dr. Bonnie Henry: ‘We are not safe’ – Dec 16, 2020

“In normal times, overcrowding is the source of almost every problem and tension in our school district, and in the pandemic the overcrowding is hazardous,” the letter said.

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At the top of the group’s list was a call for masks to be required throughout school buildings, not just in common areas.

– with files from Jon Azpiri