Masks are now mandatory for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 at their desks and on school buses. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Associated Press)

Masks required for all K to 12 students starting Monday, Oct. 4

This will be an adjustment for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students, said SD67 superintendent

All schoolchildren will be required to wear face masks when inside a school building starting tomorrow (Oct. 4), including while at their desks and on buses.

“This measure builds on the existing guidelines that currently apply to all students in Grades 4 to 12. We appreciate that this will require an adjustment for our youngest students, and our school administrators, teachers and support staff will spend time helping support our students as they adjust to this change,” said SD67 Superintendent of Schools Todd Manuel.

The province expanded its mask mandate for B.C. students to those in Kindergarten to Grade 3 on Friday, Oct. 1 after months of pressure and climbing COVID infections in children. Previously, they were only required for students in Grade 4 and up.

The increase in community infections from the Delta variant of COVID-19 is showing up in schools, particularly those aged five to 11. Students in this age group are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.

Vaccine clinics were held at the beginning of the school year at both Maggie Secondary School and Penticton Secondary School. The school district reported at their last trustee board meeting that the vaccine clinics were successful.

At this time, there is no vaccine mandate for teachers or school staff.

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