FILE – A physical distancing sign is seen during a media tour of Hastings Elementary school in Vancouver on September 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

59% of B.C. teachers say COVID-19 safety measures in schools are inadequate: BCTF poll

Students have made up less than 10 per cent of B.C.’s cases, health officials say

More than half of B.C. teachers believe COVID-19 health and safety measures in schools are “inadequate,” a B.C. Teachers’ Federation poll released Tuesday (Oct. 6) suggests.

The poll, which was held from September 17 to 21, received more than 8,500 responses from teachers around the province.

Of those, 22.5 per cent said health and safety measures were “completely inadequate,” while 37 per cent said they were “somewhat inadequate.” On the flip side, 7.2 per cent of teachers said the measures were “completely adequate,” while 25.4 per cent said they were “somewhat adequate.” About seven per cent are unsure.

According to the BCTF, 95 per cent of those who responded to the poll have returned to in-person instruction since Sept. 8. Of those, the union said that seven per cent “report that health and safety measures at their work site are completely adequate.”

The BCTF said that of those teachers who have not returned to in-person instructing, six per cent reported getting an accommodation to work from home. The union said that of those who have neither received an accommodation nor returned to in-person teaching, 60 per cent are on-call teachers, 21 per cent are using sick leave, 13 per cent are on unpaid leave and six per cent are on a different form of paid leave.

Speaking at a press conference Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that children make up less than 10 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in B.C. and that no one under the age of 19 has died due to the virus.

READ MORE: Weekend sees 358 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths in B.C.

READ MORE: A day before school starts, B.C. teachers’ union still worried over lack of remote learning


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