A physical distancing sign is seen during a media tour of Hastings Elementary school in Vancouver on September 2, 2020. Students across British Columbia are getting ready for COVID-19 orientation sessions this week amid a flurry of new protocols aimed at reopening schools while the pandemic wears on. Education Minister Rob Fleming has said districts are expecting 85 to 90 per cent of students to attend school in person, but some parents and students say they’re frustrated by the lack of remote learning options, large class sizes and inconsistent messaging when it comes to physical distancing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. to begin publicly listing COVID-19 school exposure events

Move follows weeks of criticism from parents, the public

Following weeks of pressure to notify the public of COVID-19 exposures at B.C.’s schools, the province has announced it will do just that.

All five health authorities will begin posting school exposure events on a public website. Exposures in each health authority – Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Island Health, Interior Health and Northern Health – will be linked on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website, similar to how non-school public exposures are currently listed. The lists will include both public and independent schools.

Fraser Health, which covers a region from Delta to Hope, has already unveiled the school exposures section of their website. As of Wednesday afternoon, that includes five exposures events at Surrey schools and one at a Delta high school.

The moves comes the day after Health Minister Adrian Dix held a press conference where he was peppered with questions about why the government does not release information about school-related COVID-19 cases publicly, even though the letters sent to parents are regularly leaked to the media.

READ MORE: ‘It is a pandemic’: B.C. health minister defends school plan, but says cases are inevitable


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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