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We're already more than a month into the new school year, which has brought new provincial guidelines, updated health and safety protocols and continued partnerships with public health to protect students and staff from COVID-19.
It's important for all of us to remain vigilant to minimize the spread of disease, and the district is following all provincial protocols and implementing extensive health and safety measures to ensure our schools are safe for students and staff.
Health Check: Everyone must continue to do a daily health check to determine if they should come into the building that day. This includes students, staff and all visitors. If anyone is experiencing any symptoms they should not come to school that day. It is critical that we all follow this guidance as health checks are our school's first and most important line of defense against COVID-19.
Masks for K-12 Students: The Surrey Board of Education and the provincial government mandated masks for all students, expanding the previous mandate to now include all staff and students in kindergarten to Grade 12. Masks are an effective layer of protection against the spread of communicable disease, in tandem with other health and safety measures such as daily health checks and frequent hand washing.
Exposure Notices: Schools are a priority setting for public health and they are closely monitoring transmission in school settings and managing contacts. Right now, only those individuals who may have been exposed are contacted by public health. Families are able to access COVID-19 exposures on the Fraser Health website. Fraser Health will post the school name and date(s) of exposure on their website here.
Cleaning and Disinfecting: In line with provincial guidelines, high-touch surfaces such as handrails, doorknobs and tap faucets are cleaned and disinfected at least once per day, and surfaces touched by fewer people are cleaned once daily. The district's custodial and facilities staff continue daily cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, hallways, libraries, gyms and on the bus at our 103 elementary schools and 21 secondary schools.
Mouth Rinse / Gargle Test Kits: In partnership with public health, the district provides take-home COVID-19 mouth rinse / gargle sample collection kits to families with children who become symptomatic while at school. This initiative will help increase access to testing and work towards preventing COVID-19 transmission in the school environment.
School-Based Vaccine Clinics: The Surrey Board of Education and Fraser Health are looking into hosting vaccine clinics in schools, available to our school communities – staff, students and their families – for the purpose of increasing vaccination rates in communities where rates are low. For more information on how to get vaccinated, visit getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca
The district is committed to keeping our learning spaces COVID-safe for our students and staff. For more information on the district's COVID-19 health and safety measures, see the Surrey Schools COVID-19 page.