Feb 04, 2021

K-12 Bulletin #52 - Revised K-12 COVID-19 guidelines released

The Ministry of Education, in a collaborative process with provincial health officials, WorkSafeBC, CUPE and B.C.’s education partners and rightsholders, announced significant updates to the K-12 Health and Safety Guidelines earlier today. CUPE sits on the Steering Committee where we advocate for safer schools and increased guidance to the K-12 sector.

As many of these changes are welcomed, they are intentionally broad so as to allow for districts to implement them according to their individual operational structures.

We strongly encourage K-12 locals and Health & Safety Committee representatives to take part in the implementation process to ensure these measures are carried out effectively within your specific district.

Save the dates: K-12 Presidents Council meeting

The K-12 Presidents Council and CUPE K-12 coordinators will be holding two meetings next week with K-12 local presidents, unit chairs and your local Joint Health and Safety Committee representatives. We will review the practical application of the guideline changes and CUPE National OH&S representative Tom McKenna will be available to answer questions.

We encourage you to participate in these meetings to provide input as well as have the opportunity to ask questions.

Tuesday, February 9 and Thursday, February 11 at 3 p.m.

We continue to work with the Ministry of Education through the Education Steering Committee and other partner meetings on a weekly basis to discuss and advocate on behalf of K-12 members across B.C. and look to locals to guide this advocacy.

The Ministry of Education will be funding the development of a Rapid Response Team to liaise with Regional Health Authorities. This will assist with the exposure notification process.

We want to commend all K-12 members for their tireless work throughout this pandemic and their continued strength.


Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 with changes highlighted are online. Guidelines for regular reviews of health and safety plans will help ensure consistent application across districts. Other revisions include buses, cleaning and
disinfecting, and guidelines for staff only spaces.

Wearing masks

Clarifications on masks include:

  • Elementary students’ mask use is based on personal or family/
    caregivers choice
  • Bus drivers are required to wear a mask on buses

K-12 staff and middle/secondary students should wear a mask indoors in school except when:

  • sitting or standing at their seat or workstation in a
    classroom or learning space
  • there is a barrier in place
  • eating or drinking

Those wearing masks must still practice physical distancing.


A new Health Check app

You can download the Ministry of Education’s K-12 Health Check app. Mobile apps are available for Apple and Google.

Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 with changes highlighted are online.

View PDF.

COPE 491