ASHCROFT (February 22, 2021) – As Lower Mainland schools report further exposures to COVID-19 variants, Critic for Education Jackie Tegart is calling for John Horgan and the NDP to implement enhanced health and safety measures in B.C. classrooms — including the widespread use of COVID-19 rapid tests currently being stockpiled by the NDP government, as well as improving the speed and scope of COVID-19 data and reporting in B.C. schools.
“When the NDP announced additional health and safety measures back in early February, British Columbians warned that more needed to be done to protect our students, teachers, and support staff,” said Tegart. “Instead, John Horgan continued to force our children and educators back into classrooms while continuing his one-size-fits-all approach to health and safety supports and policies. He has so far refused the broad use of rapid tests in B.C. schools, and has failed to improve our province’s COVID data reporting, which would allow B.C. educators and families to better respond to the ever-developing COVID situation.”
With other provinces and jurisdictions using COVID-19 rapid tests regularly, John Horgan continues to face strong criticism for refusing to use the more than one million rapid tests that currently sit unused and stockpiled here in B.C. The NDP’s failure to formulate a clear plan for the rollout of the vaccine has created an extra layer of uncertainty for students, families, and school staff.
“Despite the chorus of calls to use rapid tests — from the BCTF to the Prime Minister — John Horgan and the NDP refuse to change course and use this added level of protection,” added Tegart. “Teachers and students deserve to feel safe when they are in classrooms. It is time for John Horgan to change course, establish more immediate and broader COVID data reporting in schools, and begin using rapid tests to help protect children and educators.”