Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district teachers’ union, and its counterparts from Mount Arrowsmith district, seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district teachers’ union, and its counterparts from Mount Arrowsmith district, seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo-Ladysmith teachers’ union asks for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

Teachers’ unions on central Vancouver Island are imploring the health authority to put stricter COVID-19 prevention measures in place.

In a press release, Nanaimo District and Mount Arrowsmith teachers’ associations said they are calling on Island Health to “implement more aggressive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19,” especially in light of variants that are spreading. It is disconcerting that epidemiologists are referring to B.C. as a “hot spot” for the P1 (Brazilian) variant, the unions said.

Denise Wood, Nanaimo-Ladysmith district union president, and Debbie Comer, Mount Arrowsmith district president, had a number of requests for the health authority, including allowances for “blended in-person and online learning” similar to an earlier phase of the pandemic.

“Timing is of the essence for this action, as secondary schools will change learning groups in a few days and thousands of students will be switching learning groups,” said the press release. “This poses a substantial increased risk for transmission in schools. The quarter turnaround is an opportune moment to implement a phase change to keep our students, their families and staff safe.”

The union leaders are also asking that masks for kindergarten to Grade 3 students be made mandatory.

“Primary teachers’ school days include close contact with their young students who may not understand the reasons for limiting physical contact,” the press release said. “In other community interactions, children as young as two must wear a mask; therefore, it should not be a problem for five- to eight-year-olds to do the same while attending school.”

READ ALSO: New mask rules should have been implemented earlier, says Nanaimo teachers’ union

The unions are also asking for information on the status of teacher vaccinations as essential workers, saying that with recent exposures at many Vancouver Island schools, “teachers must receive the vaccine as soon as possible.”

As COVID-19 variants are spreading, it is time to adapt and be more proactive in the battle against COVID-19, the unions said.

Island Health reported 32 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island on April 20. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control, which uses a different reporting period, noted 28 new cases including 12 on the central Island.

READ ALSO: B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusEducation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Photo submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Crofton

Residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a “substantial seizure” according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
OPINION: School police liaison programs help keep kids and community safe

School liaison programs help build trust between youth and police, Duck Paterson writes

After many years of hard work, the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary completed its expansion and earned a VIREB commercial building award in the process. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith Thrift Store wins VIREB commercial building award for best renovation

The renovated space was unveiled on November 14, 2020

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Black bear tranquillized, being relocated by conservation officers

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read