A third school in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley has shifted to online learning following an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Kindergarten to Grade 6 students at Abbotsford Christian School will attend classes remotely as of Tuesday.
The closure is expected to last the rest of the week.
Julius Siebenga, the school’s executive director, says about 20 cases are being tracked. He went on to say the institution is working closely with Fraser Health officials and the transition to remote learning was needed to reduce transmission.
Fraser Health is also monitoring outbreaks at Chilliwack’s Promontory Heights Elementary and Maple Ridge Christian School.
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 Vancouver School Board voted Monday night to extend its mask mandate to apply to all students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
Right now provincial guidelines for masking in schools apply to students in grades 4 to 12.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday that the province will not be extending the mask mandate to include school-aged children in kindergarten to Grade 3.
She said rising case counts among children in B.C. reflect lower vaccination rates in some communities.
“We are seeing increased cases in school children,” Henry said. “That means that school-age children, some of them, will be coming to school with COVID.
“The cases that we’re seeing are more much more likely to be from families where adults in the family are not yet immunized or (the children are) exposed in settings where there are older children or adults that are not yet immunized.”
–with files from Amy Judd and The Canadian PressView link »