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Oct 01
B.C. gov't expands mask mandate to include K-3 students provincewide

Following the Surrey Board of Education's new mask mandate for K-12 students in the district earlier this week, the provincial government has expanded its provincial health and safety measures to mandate masks for all students in B.C.

Starting Monday, Oct. 4, all public and independent school students in B.C. will be required to wear a mask when inside school buildings, including while at their desks and on buses. This is an update to previous guidelines, which mandated masks for Grade 4-12 students only. The new mandate now also applies to kindergarten to Grade 3 students.

The expanded mandate aligns with the Surrey Board of Education's recent decision, in consultation with Fraser Health's Medical Health Officer, to extend mask use requirements to include kindergarten to Grade 3 students in the Surrey School District.

Masks are an effective layer of protection, in concert with other measures such as frequent hand washing, daily health checks and staying home when sick.

In addition to provincial health and safety measures, regional medical health officers may recommend further measures in response to local and regional conditions. The district and board will continue to work closely with Fraser Health to determine if any further measures are needed.

The Surrey Board of Education is also working with Fraser Health to examine hosting vaccine clinics in our schools for staff, students and their families, and to promote the use of COVID-19 mouth rinse/gargle test kits for students who become symptomatic and school.

The provincial school mask mandate is scheduled to remain in effect until at least January. Beginning this month, the PHO will also release a new monthly report to the public about how the virus affects school-aged children.

For more information on provincial health and safety measures in schools, see the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings and the district's COVID-19 Health & Safety page.

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