Coronavirus – Guidance from the Provincial Health Office and BCCDC

Dear Families,
All school districts in the province have received guidance from the Office of the Provincial
Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) regarding recommended
measures for preventing and controlling respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, in schools and
childcare settings.
We are writing to inform you about these recommendations, to tell you how they are being
implemented in our school district, and to let you know what steps you can take at home.
There are two important ways to prevent and control respiratory viruses in school settings:
 The first is for students and staff who are ill with respiratory illness symptoms (fever,
cough, fatigue, and/or muscle aches) to stay home from school. If your child is not
feeling well, we ask that you keep them home so that they can rest and recover. As
always, remember to inform the school of the absence.
 The second way to prevent and control respiratory viruses is the consistent practice of
good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. Good respiratory etiquette includes
covering your mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed
elbow and disposing of used tissues, followed by hand hygiene. Hand hygiene is the
washing of hands with plain soap and water, which is effective at removing visible soil as
well as viruses.
Children should clean their hands:
 before leaving home and on arrival at school
 after using the toilet
 after breaks and sporting activities
 before food preparation
 before eating any food, including snacks
 before leaving school
The Burnaby School District encourages school staff to promote regular hand washing.
REMINDER: Masks are not necessary for people who are not experiencing symptoms. In
children in particular, masks can be irritating and may increase touching of the face and eyes,
which increases the risk of infection.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Regular cleaning of objects and high-touch surfaces – such as door handles and water fountain
push buttons – helps prevent the transmission of viruses.
School district staff are cleaning all high-touch surfaces at all school sites daily. All disinfecting
products used by the District meet the guidance provided by the BCCDC.
Although water fountain knobs and push buttons will be cleaned daily, consider providing your
child with a filled water bottle so that they do not have to drink directly from the mouthpiece of
the fountain.
Food Sharing
Students should not be sharing food, utensils, dishes, and water bottles or drink containers.
This practice is important for reducing virus transmission between children.
Psychological Considerations
A new virus such as COVID-19 can create anxiety and be difficult for students to understand,
especially if someone in their school or family is sick, or they see or hear troubling messages in
the media. It is normal for children to feel worried or nervous and have questions.
Support your children by reassuring them that they are safe and there are many things they can
do to stay healthy:
 Hand washing: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or
use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing.
 Cough and sneeze etiquette: Cough and sneeze into your arm or a tissue.
 Stay home when sick: If you’re not feeling well let your parents or guardians know so
you can stay home from school.
 Keep clean: Keep your hands away from your face and mouth.
 Stay healthy: Eat healthy foods, keep physically active, and get enough sleep to help
your body stay healthy.
Terry Gomez
Health and Safety Manager