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New safety measures in BC middle and high schools mean masks are now mandatory at all times indoors.
Early reaction to the changes has been generally positive.
Up to now, students have not been required to wear masks while sitting at their desks, but students at Kelowna Secondary School say about half of the kids wear them all the time anyway.
"I'm not going to like it, but safety is number one," said one student about the new rules.
"I'm going to be a little annoyed," said another. "When I've got to be wearing a mask for six hours straight, but what are you going to do?"
Others were pleased to hear of the changes.
"I do wear my mask all day long," said one student, "and I think it's great that they added this."
Another told NowMedia she never takes hers off either. "It just makes me feel better as well as it makes the people around me feel a bit better as well."
The Central Okanagan Teachers Association said at last count, 26 teachers in the district have contracted COVID-19, so they're applauding the move, but they want to see more.
"The masks are a tremendous start. I'm not belittling that," said Susan Bauhart. "We have been advocating for a mask policy in the schools for a long time."
She said there is a list of things that should be done to make schools safer. "Classroom density reduced, Improved, better ventilation in our schools, these are the things that have yet to be addressed."
For students in elementary schools, the wearing of masks remains optional.
School Districts have been asked to have the new rules fully implemented by Feb. 26.
For more details about the new enhanced safety measures in schools click here.
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