BC Teachers Concerned with the Seemingly “Unacceptable” COVID-19 Response by the Provincial Government

    A group of teachers is currently questioning the inconsistencies regarding the provincial government of British Columbia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and even described it as “unacceptable” given the lack of meaningful information relayed to them.

    According to a statement by the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF), through their president Teri Mooring, there are several red flags that the BC provincial government seems to pass over concerning its response to the pandemic deliberately. The BCTF called these “significant inconsistencies” and specifically pinpointed the lack of shifting policies for exposure notification and contact tracing, including the wanting of timeliness of contact tracing and information.

    The BCTF highlighted the “vague” and “ambiguous” relay of information concerning potential exposure events. Instead of providing crucial details, Mooring related that there is still no province-wide consistency in how exposures and clusters in schools are defined and reported “over a year-and-a-half into this pandemic.”

    “Parents and teachers look to their school district and local health authority for information about what’s happening in their schools,” Mooring stressed. “It has become evident that the information provided and the communication to school communities is not painting an accurate picture.” The BCTF added that the trust in the system has been “broken.”

    Along with the “significant inconsistencies” the group specified, the BCTF also raised some demands that they would like the provincial government to include in their list of priorities.

    These demands include taking steps to address delays in contact tracing, particularly in Northern Health, addressing transparency and consistency concerns but making all exposure notices available to school communities, and standardizing the definitions of exposure, cluster, and outbreak across the province. Additionally, the BCTF wants to increase the number of resources allocated to the Provincial Health Office to increase the speed of exposure notifications.

    The BC provincial government is expected to comment on this matter during their weekly press conference on COVID-19.

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