Make Masks Mandatory in West Vancouver School Classrooms

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I am a Grade 10 student currently attending Sentinel Secondary School.

We should not let politics dominate the conversation when it comes to re-opening schools.  Instead, we should listen to the scientific and medical communities.  The safety of students, teachers, parents, and other family members should be the top priority when making these decisions.

Only two weeks since schools have re-opened in BC, there have already been confirmed COVID-19 cases in 45 schools.

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC), "[f]acemasks can be worn to help protect those around you...[and] masks can have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19....Wearing a mask should be combined with other important preventative measures such as frequent hand-washing and physical distancing."

In classrooms, all possible preventative measures should be taken.  Since physical distancing cannot be accommodated in classrooms, masks are crucial to reduce risk of transmission in order to keep students, teachers, and family members safe.

The current cohort system facilitates contact tracing in schools, but does not reduce transmission risk.  Therefore, masks should be made mandatory not only in school public areas but also in all classrooms (with medical exemptions).