A sign encouraging students to wear a mask in classrooms released Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (BCTF)

A sign encouraging students to wear a mask in classrooms released Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (BCTF)

BCTF asks parents to ‘create a culture of mask wearing’ as schools excluded from new rules

New indoor mask mandate does not include schools

The union representing B.C.’s teachers is asking students to mask up in schools despite being excluded from the province’s new COVID-19 rules.

In a statement posted to social media Friday (Nov. 20), the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) urged parents to talk to their kids about wearing masks.

“While masks are not mandatory at all times in schools, we’re hoping parents can help teachers create a culture of mask wearing,” the union stated.

“We need to be doing all we can to ensure we keep each other safe.”

The BCTF went on to note that while there are students and staff who cannot wear masks and some situations where masks aren’t appropriate, starting a conversation could still makes schools a safer space.

The union’s comments came a day after a new mask mandate was issued in B.C. The new rules require masks in all indoor public and retail spaces. However, face coverings continue to be mandatory for only high-traffic areas in middle and high schools. Classroom mask wearing is not required.

When asked about why the new rules excluded schools, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said they “are not public open spaces.”

“We don’t expect children to wear masks sitting at their desks all day long,” she said. However, older students in Ontario and some Quebec schools are required to wear masks while in their classrooms.

The province recorded 516 new cases on Friday, down from a high of 762 earlier this week. There were 10 deaths on Friday, just below the record daily death toll of 11 in B.C. earlier this week.

READ MORE: Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

READ MORE: B.C. teachers’ union calls on Horgan to limit Fraser Health class sizes to 15 students


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusEducationSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cascade Falls Regional Park is one of several Fraser Valley parks that saw record usage during the summer of 2020. (File photo)
Residents flock to Fraser Valley parks amid pandemic

Some trails saw usage double during summer months of 2020

A horse on Yale Road West in Chilliwack peeks out from its shelter at the rainy weather on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Several days of rain in forecast for Fraser Valley after single day of sunshine

According to Environment Canada, rain and showers are expected today until Wednesday

At the current rate of new infections, one in 53 Lower Mainland residents will catch the virus over the weeks to come. (Chart: Tyler Olsen)
GRAPHIC: One in 25 Lower Mainland residents may contract COVID-19 by February if virus continues spread

Moderate increase cases would leave one in 20 Lower Mainland residents with virus by February

Chilliwack musician Mauvey won the Dakota Leslie Fan Vote – and $2,500 – at this year’s Fraser Valley Music Awards. The virtual event was held Thursday night (Nov. 19).
Winners of Fraser Valley Music Awards announced in 16 categories

Annual awards honour artists in pop, hip hop, jazz and more

web
Mission RCMP searching for missing man

Asking the public for assistance to locate Rocky Tolfree

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Reverend Patrick John (PJ) O’Maoil Mheana, ordained as Father Luke, has been named the new rector for the Church of the Holy Trinity in White Rock. (Contributed photo)
From chaos to love, White Rock’s newest priest to spread message of hope

Rev. Patrick John O’Maoil Mheana to start work at Church of the Holy Trinity Nov. 30

Randy Bell. (File photo)
Former northern B.C. mayoral candidate arrested after allegedly refusing to wear mask

Randy Bell handcuffed and given a warning at Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Smithers

James Corden on the Late Late Show talking about BC Ferries on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (Screenshot)
‘You’ll see it when you see it’: BC Ferries mask graphic gains James Corden’s attention

Turns out, James Corden fans were just as quick as B.C. social media users to pick up on the dual imagery

Most Read