Variant in schools means it's time for all students in B.C. to wear masks: union

Teachers want more masks

SURREY, B.C. - The head of the teachers' union in British Columbia is urging public health officials to expand guidelines on masks to include elementary students after seven schools reported cases involving a COVID-19 variant.

Teri Mooring of the B.C. Teachers Federation says school districts should be allowed to impose measures based on their needs, considering the variants were all found in schools in the Fraser Health region.

Variants of concern have been identified in all seven schools and health officials say testing so far indicates it is linked to the one first identified in the United Kingdom.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced mandatory mask guidelines earlier this month for students in middle and high schools.

Mooring says she doesn't agree with the current directive, which says students don't have to wear masks at their desks.

Henry has said that's the same as in offices or restaurants, but Mooring says students sit close together and the other environments don't compare well with schools.

More BC News