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With the updated Provincial K-12 Health & Safety Guidelines come updated health and safety protocols in our schools for fall. Here's what's new and what you need to know for the return to class.
Check Up: Every day, check how you are feeling, and stay home if you feel unwell. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested.
Daily Health Checks remain incredibly important in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring the health and safety of everyone. Students, staff, parents and caregivers are required to perform health assessments every day and stay home if they are sick. For more information on key symptoms, see our Daily Health Check forms, available in multiple languages, on the district's COVID-19 Health & Safety page or download the K-12 Health Check Mobile App (for students only).
Back Up: Be mindful and considerate of others' personal space. Some of us may be ready to welcome our friends with open arms but others may not. We need to respect each other's personal comfort level and start slow.
While physical distancing of two metres is no longer mandatory, students and staff are encouraged to respect the personal space of others. Classrooms and indoor spaces will be arranged as best they can to make room to prevent involuntary physical contact.
Classes such as music and physical and health education (PHE) may be held outdoors or in large spaces indoors while utilizing the space and spreading out as much as possible.
Wash Up: Wash or sanitize your hands regularly, including after being outside, going to the bathroom and before and after eating. Be sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer works well if you don't have soap and water, but it's not effective if you can see dirt on your hands.
Hand hygiene continues to be a simple but effective method to prevent the spread of disease. Students are asked to wash and sanitize their hands before using shared physical education and music equipment, which will be disinfected daily.
Mask Up: All school staff and Grade 4-12 students must wear a mask indoors. Kindergarten to Grade 3 students are encouraged to wear a mask. Ensure your mask is clean and dry, is a good fit, and covers your nose and mouth fully. Try not to touch your face or mask while you're wearing it.
The mask mandate applies to all K-12 staff, visitors, volunteers and Grade 4-12 students, regardless of vaccination status, while indoors and on school buses. K-3 students and Grade 3 students in Grade 3-4 splits are not mandated to wear a mask indoors but are highly encouraged to do so. Exceptions to mask wearing are outlined in the provincial health guidelines.
The same mask rules apply during physical education classes indoors, though masks are not required during high-intensity physical activities. For music classes, masks are required indoors, while singing and when not playing a wind instrument.
Vax Up: If you are eligible, get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Getting vaccinated is the most effective way to reduce infections and transmission of COVID-19. The vaccine is safe and available to anyone aged 12 and older. People who are not vaccinated are at higher risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have questions or concerns. If you haven't already and are eligible, register to receive your first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
For more information on health and safety, visit the district's COVID-19 Health & Safety page.