School District 83 has placed a rush order for 6,000 face masks in response to a health order that mandates their wearing at school for students in Grades 4 to 12. (File photo)

School District 83 has placed a rush order for 6,000 face masks in response to a health order that mandates their wearing at school for students in Grades 4 to 12. (File photo)

North Okanagan-Shuswap school district orders 6,000 masks, now mandatory in class

New provincial health order mandates mask wearing for students in Grades 4 to 12

In response to new provincial health guidelines mandating the use of face masks in schools for students in Grades 4 to 12, School District 83 is taking steps to ensure they have enough reusable masks for students.

Public health guidance for B.C. schools was amended on Tuesday, March 30, to require students in Grades 4 to 12 to wear masks while indoors at school, including in the classroom. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are also being encouraged to wear masks indoors and on school buses.

The regulation change is in response to rising COVID-19 case levels including more variants of concern.

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SD 83 superintendent Peter Jory said that in response to the changes, the district is redistributing its stockpile of masks. It has also placed a rush order for 6,000 smaller reusable masks which will fit younger students.

Jory said SD 83 will be putting the guidelines into effect once schools have an adequate supply of masks.

“Some students may have masks that they are able to bring from home and may be wearing them already. But, some students may not. Principals and teachers will be implementing the changes as soon as there are enough masks for all of their students.”

The school district announcement includes a list of exceptions including for people who can’t wear masks for health or behavioural reasons.

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jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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