Health and Hygiene Considerations for First Nations Schools
24 April 2020
Dear First Nations and First Nation schools,
In keeping with the direction provided by the Provincial Health Officer, First Nations across BC have suspended classes to ensure the safety of their communities. However, we know that some schools are still providing limited services such as preparing meals or supporting the children of essential service workers.
To support your efforts to deliver these services in the safest way possible, the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) have worked with the First Nations Health Authority to identify the following resources containing advice and best practices.
- The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the BC Ministry of Health have released public health guidance specific to K-12 school settings. Important update: See the BCCDC Addendum (March 30, 2021) for significant changes to mask and face covering guidance.
- See the Public Health Agency of Canada’s resource for guidance on cleaning and disinfecting your school, including procedures and recommended products.
- The Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health have prepared the following resource on ensuring appropriate physical distancing.
- For schools that continue to provide meals to students and families, see the following BCCDC information on food safety and COVID-19.
It is important for schools to continue to follow the highest standard of cleaning practices. In order to conserve supplies, especially custodial and cleaning supplies, it may be helpful to review which spaces are being reserved for staff and students to interact in–person, and focus cleaning efforts accordingly.
Schools can also enhance measures to limit access to buildings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Related to this, schools may consider staggering staff work schedules (where possible) and limiting staff access to certain hours or to certain areas of the building.
Please note that information and guidance regarding COVID-19 is evolving. For ongoing updates, please see the following sources of general information about COVID-19:
The latest news relating to our COVID-19 response is available on our COVID-19 main page where you will also find links to a number of resources that we hope will be useful to families, schools, and communities.
Wishing everyone good health.