A glimmer of hope; do not stand down

It's working. We must keep up the pressure.

In today’s news conference, British Columbia Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry acknowledged hearing that transparent COVID-19 exposure notifications, as it pertains to school exposures, are needed.

Dr. Henry used the words, “timely," “less intrusive,” and “sustainable."

Parents need to be notified “rapidly,” that there has been an exposure at their child’s school, Dr. Henry said, indicating the way this new system will work will become clearer by Friday.

We believe the amazing work being done by the BC School Covid Tracker and now this FOI project, that you have graciously volunteered to take part in, are making a difference.

Dr. Henry's announcement is welcomed. We see a glimmer of light at the end of a dark tunnel. However, until we know what the notifications will look like, what “timely,” means, and how this vital information will be published, we are determined to continue this initiative. The definitions of some of these words have, in the past, been open to interpretation.

To that effect, we ask that you carry on with the process of filing the FOI request for the district(s) assigned to you, following the instructions as previously communicated.

To the volunteers that have already gone ahead and filed: Thank you. If the access to information representatives with the BC government have yet to contact you, we expect they will soon.

If you are visiting this website for the first time and you would like to be part of this important initiative, you are welcome to email us at safeschoolscoalitionbc@gmail.com. From there, you will receive an instructional document, a template letter you will have to copy and paste into a new document, and have a school district assigned to you. Then, you will issue an FOI request under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act with the BC government's access to information department for school exposure notifications sent from the BC government to the district in question.

We know that, together, we are making a difference. Now is not the time to declare victory, as that would be premature. The updated BC COVID-19 exposure notification process must be more timely and transparent, so that our school-aged children will be safer.

Thank you so much for your efforts to date. Your advocacy has touched us and given hope to thousands of parents in BC who simply want to know what's going on in their child's school.

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