This document provides guidance for educators, administrators, and support staff (hereafter referred to as staff) at public, independent, and First Nations Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) schools of what communicable disease prevention measures should be implemented as of the above date during the 2021-22 school year to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. COVID-19 will continue to circulate in our population, including within K-12 school settings; however, with high
immunization rates in BC, as well as emerging treatment options for people at higher risk of serious disease, we can transition to managing COVID-19 as we do other serious respiratory infections in the community. Public health continues to review emerging evidence and monitor cases and transmission trends of COVID-19 to determine if actions should be taken to prevent COVID-19. Guidance will continue to be modified as needed as we transition from emergency response to the pandemic to the recovery and readiness phases in the next few months.
The Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) fully respect the authority of individual First Nations to make decisions about the operation of First Nations schools in the best interests of their students, schools, and communities. This includes their authority to decide if and how to use this guidance to inform planning and if and how to reopen their schools. The Ministry of Education works with Indigenous rights holders and K-12 education and health partners to build on public health guidance to establish the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K12 School Settings. These Ministry of Education guidelines must be followed by schools and school districts, including if there are any differences between them and the public health guidance. BCCDC is the primary source of information about COVID-19 in B.C. Resources on the BCCDC website can be used to support learning and to respond to questions from school communities.