VICTORIA, B.C. – In response to the updated guidance on aerosol transmission of COVID-19 in health-care settings from the BC Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement:
“The role of the provincial government and public health is to reduce illness and protect people’s wellbeing. On August 29th, the PHSA published updated guidance for health-care providers that emphasizes risk from aerosol transmission of COVID-19. This is a significant and overdue update to their clinical guidance. The BCNDP government must immediately apply these guidelines in schools, universities, and public settings to mitigate unnecessary illness from COVID-19.
“There needs to be a public education campaign on airborne transmission and how to reduce our risk of being infected by COVID-19. Families and staff should have clear direction from public health and the government about how to reduce risk of illness. Infections are currently 100 times higher than what is being reported. We are sending children back to school without effective protections from an airborne virus. Every effort should be made to reduce illness and promote wellness among students and staff.
“The past two school years we have seen a spike in infections, and yet the Ministry of Education has changed little in their approach. This refusal to follow the science will continue to overrun our hospitals and put our children, staff, and families at risk.
“The PHSA recommends uncrowded, well-ventilated spaces and masking in this updated clinical guidance. We are sending our children into the exact opposite scenario. The ideal return to school would see upgraded ventilation and filtration in every school across the province and transparency around which schools and classrooms have had ventilation upgrades. It would also include a CO2 monitor in every classroom - a great measure of effectiveness of ventilation - and N95 masks available to all students and staff.
“These are all non-intrusive and sustainable measures that put wellbeing first. They are measures that this government has had two years to put into place, and continues to have the opportunity to do moving forward.”
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | [email protected]