More rapid tests, ventilation support for K-12 sector

February 1, 2022 at 3:46 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Further pandemic supports are coming for B.C. students and schools, with 300,000 rapid antigen test kits to be delivered in phases.

The first phase will be rural and remote school districts for use by students with symptoms of COVID-19.

“By making rapid tests available to symptomatic students in rural and remote communities, we are using an additional tool to strengthen the continuity of learning,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “Since the return to class on Jan. 10, teachers and staff in B.C. have worked diligently to ensure classrooms and schools continue to be safe places and spaces for students to learn. I thank them for the tireless work they do each day to give students every opportunity to achieve their best.”

School districts will distribute the five-pack test kits for families of students who reside in rural and remote regions of B.C. This will ensure that communities that  are further away from regional testing facilities have access to tests. In the second phase of distribution, tests will be shipped for students aged five to 11 in school districts within the Northern and Interior health authorities.

Test kits for students are in addition to the more than 200,000 test kits shipped in mid-January for symptomatic staff, teachers and administrators. Test kits for staff have started to arrive in communities throughout B.C., with two tests being made available to every kindergarten to Grade 12 employee.

The Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control continue to advise how rapid antigen tests are best used as part of the provincial pandemic response, including if additional tests will be deployed for use in the K-12 sector.

The use of rapid tests builds on existing COVID-19 testing programs in place in communities.

“As schools provide essential support for students’ academic, social, and emotional development, we welcome the supply of rapid antigen tests for use by our students in parts of B.C. with less access to testing facilities, as this will help inform and provide more peace of mind to families,” said Andrea Sinclair, president of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, B.C. has invested $114.5 million to help school districts upgrade ventilation in thousands of classrooms around the province. Additional support is available to implement targeted improvements, with a focus on deploying portable HEPA filtration units in classrooms with no access to mechanical ventilation systems. For example, the Richmond school district (SD 38) has used the additional funding to purchase 293 HEPA filtration units, while Burnaby (SD 41) has used the additional funding to purchase 350 HEPA filtration units.

Quick Facts:

  • On Jan. 20, 2022, government announced 200,000 rapid test kits shipped to the K-12 sector for use by symptomatic teachers and staff.
  • On Jan. 26, government announced 250,000 rapid test kits will be shipped to government-funded child care centres for use by child care professionals with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The school districts first to receive test kits for students include Rocky Mountain (SD 6), Kootenay Lake (SD 8), Arrow Lakes (SD 10), Cariboo-Chilcotin (SD 27), Central Coast (SD 49), Haida Gwaii (SD 50), Boundary (SD 51), Nicola-Similkameen (SD 58), Peace River South (SD 59), Gulf Islands (SD 64), Gold Trail (SD 74), Fort Nelson (SD 81), Coast Mountains (SD 82), Vancouver Island West (SD 84), Stikine (SD 87), Nechako Lakes (SD 91) and Nisga’a (SD 92).


View the full article from the original source

No conversations yet

Activity Stream

Fri, May 20, 2022 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Exploring the Napier Ranch Conservation Area
Thu, May 19, 2022 at 12:37 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Will Canada finally stem rising aviation emissions in 2022?
Tue, May 17, 2022 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Wandering on Dewdrop Ridge – Kamloops Trails
Sun, May 15, 2022 at 8:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Six Mile Thrice – Kamloops Trails
Sat, May 14, 2022 at 6:10 pm - Bill Sundhu posted on their blog: There is no Peace without Justice! »
Thu, May 12, 2022 at 10:13 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Green living is good for you — and the planet
Tue, May 10, 2022 at 7:45 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Early Hiking in the Frederick Bluffs
Sat, May 7, 2022 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Up the NE Mara Route
Thu, May 5, 2022 at 11:18 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Suppressed science shows fish farms endanger wild salmon
Tue, May 3, 2022 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: A Moderate Hike on the Uplands Trails
Full Stream