Research conducted by the BC Teachers’ Federation has identified significant inconsistencies in defining and declaring COVID-19 events in BC’s K–12 education sector, a lack of timeliness of contact tracing and notification, and shifting policies for exposure notification and contact tracing.
These findings come on the heels of a recent survey of BCTF members where 71% reported they are not receiving adequate information about COVID-19 exposures and cases in their school and district.
“It’s unacceptable that, over a year-and-a-half into this pandemic, there is still no province-wide consistency in how exposures and clusters in schools are defined and reported,” said BCTF President Teri Mooring. “Parents and teachers look to their school district and local health authority for information about what’s happening in their schools, and it has become very clear that the information provided and the communication to school communities is not painting an accurate picture. Trust in the system has been broken.”
The BC Teachers’ Federation is calling on the government to:
- standardize definitions of exposure, cluster, and outbreak across all health authorities.
- take steps to address reported delays in contact tracing in all health authorities and in particular the Northern Health region.
- address transparency and consistency concerns by posting and communicating all school exposure notices broadly to school communities.
A detailed BCTF Research Backgrounder, titled BC Health Authorities’ Reporting of COVID-19 Exposure Events in Schools, is available here.