During Tuesday’s provincial COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed that teachers and support staff in BC schools will need to start showing their vaccination status to their employers.
The new requirements were first introduced on Monday January 17 in a public health order which explains that each employer must keep a record of the vaccination status of each member of staff.
The order explains that medical officers of health (MHOs) are best placed to assess local circumstances.
According to the order, immunization records must be kept on a “non-individual identification basis” by each school, as required by the MHO on the date they specify.
“A lack of information from school boards, independent school authorities and francophone school authorities and the medical officer of health on the vaccination status of staff members in school settings is detrimental to the suppression of SARS-CoV-2 and constitutes a health hazard. under the Public Health Act,” Henry wrote in the PHO.
“In some health regions or parts of health regions across the province, there is an immediate and urgent need for targeted action to reduce the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in schools and to ensure the continuity of school services.
The order also adds that children between the ages of 5 and 11 are more likely to be infected as they have only recently become eligible for vaccination and it will be some time before this group can be fully vaccinated.
During the provincial briefing, Henry explained that the new order was put in place to help MHOs who work with their school districts make decisions about the need for vaccination mandates.
“This order also helps MHOs know which schools are most at risk for outbreaks and is a way for us to be able to prioritize, manage and support schools,” Henry concluded.