COVID-19CUPE BC is renewing its call for making masks mandatory for all students in K-12, including students from Kindergarten to Grade Three. This call is being made with new urgency given the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in young school-age children who are still not eligible to be vaccinated.

“Clearly the Delta variant has changed the situation in schools. An extra layer of protection is needed more than ever to protect everyone in the school system,” said CUPE BC President Karen Ranalletta.

CUPE BC, which represents more than 30,000 workers in the K-12 public education system, is applauding the Vancouver School Board’s recent decision to expand the mask mandate to all students.

“We thank the Vancouver School Board Trustees for their leadership on this, and we’re encouraging school trustees all over the province to do the same thing, so that all students and staff all across the province have the same level of protection,” said Ranalletta.

CUPE BC is also advocating for additional measures to keep schools healthy, such as reinstating daytime cleaning by custodial staff to reduce the spread of disease through frequently touched surfaces. Increased ventilation and rapid tests could also be used to deal with the rising cases in schools.

“At this time, it is more important than ever to use every measure available to protect children and workers in our school system,” said Ranalletta.