(Black Press Media files)

(Black Press Media files)

BCTF says more K-7 teachers with COVID-19 than Grades 8-12 teachers

Union says this shows the importance of wearing masks in classrooms

The British Columbia Teachers Federation says data published by WorkSafeBC revealing “significantly higher” COVID-19 infection claims among elementary school teachers compared to their secondary school counterparts shows the importance of wearing masks in classrooms.

Teri Mooring, BCTF president, noted that as of March 11 a total of 80 occupational COVID-19 infection claims were approved for K–7 teachers, compared to 25 for Grades 8–12 teachers.

“The discrepancy in infection rates truly underscores the importance of mask-wearing in classrooms,” Mooring said. “Elementary schools aren’t subject to any mask mandates for students, unlike our secondary schools. The lack of transparent data about transmission in schools means we can only guess that the lack of masks is leading to more infections among elementary teachers.”

READ ALSO: Surrey school district implements new COVID-19 health, safety measures

SEE ALSO VIDEO: Surrey School District releases video on new ‘intensive’ health measures

READ ALSO: ‘Long COVID’: How a Surrey man is dealing with the effects of the virus one year later

A BCTF press release issued Tuesday indicates that to that date 89 per cent of elementary school teachers’ COVID-19 claims had been allowed compared to 74 per cent for registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, and 71 per cent of claims for all occupations.

Mooring noted that Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and the provincial government “seem to be holding firm with their current mask mandates, so while we continue to advocate for stronger measures, we also need to rely on parents to talk to their children about the importance of wearing a mask for everybody’s safety.”

The BCTF president said the education sector is second only to the health sector in the number of compensation claims filed with WorkSafeBC for occupational COVID-19 infection.

Mooring said public school teachers and staff have the third highest number of compensation claims, behind workers in long-term care and acute care settings, and the number of claims filed by public school employees exceeds that of health care workers in other settings such as community health support services and emergency health care.

The BCTF is advising teachers who are working in a classroom environment “where there is a significant risk of exposure” to COVID-19 to “work with their local union” to file a claim with WorkSafeBC if they are diagnosed with the coronavirus.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

CoronavirusSchoolsSurrey

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

Just Posted

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Port Alberni collect garbage in the Scotiabank parking lot on Saturday, April 17 as part of a Community Clean Up. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni’s community street clean-up a success

Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre plans ocean clean-up for April 24 and 25

Wounded Warriors runners run along Beaver Creek Road towards the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department hall. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni’s Wounded Warriors stage solo run

Vancouver Island-wide event was cancelled, but Maria Marciano and Dave Nesbitt ran anyway

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations celebrate legal victory in fishing dispute

Ha’oom Fisheries Society and T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries announce “major legal victory”

Winston Joseph, known as Mr. Positive Port Alberni, leads the 2019 Canada Day parade with his wife Sheila. Winston, who was integral in starting the July 1 folkfest, died April 11, 2021 at the age of 89. (PHOTO COURTESY SONJA DRINKWATER)
Community remembers Winston Joseph with Canada Day parade in April

‘Mr. Positive Port Alberni’ started Canada Day folk fest, lived a life of service and faith

Grade 5 Wood Elementary Students cycling on the powerline trail. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Wood School bicycles, equipment worth $8,000 stolen

Equipment was stored at Echo Fieldhouse in Port Alberni

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to go forward with legal action

Club Phoenix Fitness in Langford is the first Island business to be ordered closed by the provincial workplace closure order put into effect April 11. It will be closed until at least April 29. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
Langford gym first Island business to be closed by public health order

Workplace closure order can now close businesses with three or more COVID-19 cases

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read