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Prince George school district releases approved COVID-19 return plan with enhanced safety protocols

Document outlines cleaning procedures, masks in high-traffic areas, rules for parents
School District 57 (SD57) in Prince George and the COVID-19 pandemic. (via Submitted/Hanna Petersen, PrinceGeorgeMatters)

School District 57 (SD57) has put together its COVID-19 return plan earmarked for when students are back in the classroom as early as Sept. 10.

Prince George parents and guardians are set to receive the same document, which consists of its safety protocols for students, staff and visitors in hopes of engaging in some sort of normality when it comes to education.

It says all public health orders and guidelines by Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, must be followed to the letter.

This includes practicing social distancing when out of a learning group and wearing masks in high-traffic areas like buses and common areas.

Learning groups, as announced earlier this month by the province, will be a maximum of 60 in each elementary-school cohort and 120 in a secondary cohort and these are set to remain consistent in most areas of the school for a single semester, quarter or term.

These numbers could be reduced however, if B.C. decided to move schools into Stage Three or Four of its plan should COVID-19 be spread.

SD57 says students must stay home if they’re feeling sick or experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19, influenza or the common cold in order to reduce any potential spread.

Students are being reminded as well to keep hands to themselves and no close greetings like hugs, handshakes and high-fives.

Outside visitors must make an appointment with the school before coming inside, where they must also sign in and provide their information.

The district adds thorough cleaning and sanitizing will be conducted with its enhanced safety protocols, including disinfecting all frequently touched surfaces twice a day.

“There is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via textbooks, paper or other paper-based products. As such, there is no need to limit the distribution of books or paper-based educational resources to students because of COVID-19.”

You can review the full detailed document in the PDF link below, or by visiting the SD57 website.

B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming has also scheduled a conference at 1:45 p.m. today (Aug. 26) with more details on the province's back-to-school plan.