(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

West Shore RCMP arrested a 42-year-old man April 11 following numerous reports of someone firing a rifle in a Malahat campground. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP arrest man after shots fired at Malahat campground

Police received numerous reports of a man firing a rifle outside his camper trailer

Dave Kral, owner of the Cobblestone Inn in Cobble Hill, and his staff are frustrated with the new health restrictions banning indoor dining at restaurants in B.C. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley restaurants try to survive with new restrictions

Dining rooms ordered to close for three weeks as COVID-19 cases surge

The City of Duncan has begun the process to prepare a new transportation plan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan gets on board with transportation plan

But high cost raises concerns

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Police: mental health crisis likely in car driven through Saanich Walmart wall

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

The Campbell River Gun Club outdoor range is located on Argonaut Road west of Campbell River. CRGC/Facebook photo
Campbell River Gun Club range shut down after complaints of stray bullets

Neighbour says bullets hit caretaker’s RV and shattered a glass panel on his deck

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s Green Point Campground saw an unprecedented flurry of reservations last week. (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve photo)
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve campground sees ‘unprecedented’ interest

Reservations being accepted as Green Point Campground scheduled to open May 1

Restaurant owners Oura and Kymon Giakoumakis visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PODCAST: COVID-19 pandemic hits Island’s food service industry hard

Pair of Vancouver Island restaurant owners share thoughts and advice

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Most Read