Five parent advisory councils on British Columbia’s South Coast are calling on the province to ramp up COVID-19 safety protocols.
In a letter sent to the education ministry, PACs in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, New Westminster, and Sooke call for a stronger mask mandate to require students from kindergarten to Grade 3 to wear face coverings, increased contact tracing, a return to learning cohorts in elementary schools, and improved ventilation in schools.
The letter comes as several COVID-19 cases have been reported at Capilano Elementary in North Vancouver.
Chilliwack’s Promontory Elementary moved to remote learning on Wednesday after at least 20 cases were detected in staff and students, and on Friday, Fraser Health declared an outbreak at Maple Ridge Christian School, where 32 cases cropped up.
In each of the last three reporting days, more than 100 new cases have involved kids nine or younger.
The province recently announced that it would resume notifying schools and parents about COVID-19 exposures.
“Unless there is some sort of extra mitigation added to schools, we will continue to see those numbers rise,” Vancouver physician Dr. Anna Wolak told Global News.