More and more Surrey schools are taking part in “Red 4 BCEd” walk-ins aimed at bringing awareness to better health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic and as variant cases ramp up in the district.
The Surrey school district and Fraser Health have issued more than a dozen variant exposure notices to elementary and secondary schools since Feb. 21, with the latest being Chimney Hill Elementary, Fleetwood Park Secondary, Frank Hurt Secondary, Princess Margaret Secondary and Tamanawis Secondary, according to a release from Fraser Health on Sunday (March 7).
In the joint statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix Tuesday, there were 182 new confirmed COVID-19 variants for a total of 576 (530 cases of the U.K. variant, 33 cases of the South African variant and 13 cases of the Brazilian variant). Of the total cases, 113 are active.
Surrey schools involved in walk-ins Tuesday included L.A. Matheson Secondary and École Woodward Hill Elementary and Riverdale Elementary. On Monday, there was a walk-in at Frost Road Elementary.
The current safety plan is not good enough for schools in the Fraser Health region, particularly Surrey. No elementary student is currently required to wear a mask in their classroom all day. #bced #bcpoli #RedForBCEd https://t.co/QGNOstOUDP
— Surrey Teachers’ Association (@SurreyTeachers) March 5, 2021
Due to protocols not all staff could join us. But we are all wearing #Red4Ed as LA Matheson staff see the health and safety of our community as paramount. Anxiety is high and we protest because we see the negative impact of COVID daily@SurreyTeachers#bced #bcpoli @bctf pic.twitter.com/ucbYczweQR
— Annie Ohana (@ohana_annie) March 9, 2021
Surrey Teachers’ Association president Matt Westphal told the Now-Leader last week following walk-ins at A.H.P Matthew Elementary and Maple Green Elementary that the STA would like to see school districts be “formally empowered” by the province to implement further COVID-19 safety measures.
He added the STA would like to see the province give districts power to “further safety measures over and above what’s currently done across the province, so that they can deal with hot spots within their district.”
Westphal said that could be looking at firmer restrictions on certain schools or areas in the district.