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VANCOUVER — School trustees in Vancouver have voted unanimously in favour of requiring masks to be worn by students in kindergarten to Grade 3.

Mask mandates set by British Columbia’s provincial health officer exempt youngsters in primary grades from wearing masks in class, although intermediate and secondary students, staff and visitors must be masked in classrooms and indoor areas.

The Vancouver School Board becomes the first in the province to mandate masks for primary students.

The approved motion leaves room for parental input, if concerns are submitted in writing to the principal of their child’s school.

A social media post from the board says more details about the extended mask mandate will be shared with staff, students and families “in the coming days.”

Trustees Barb Parrott and Allan Wong submitted the motion, which says the current provincial exemption “seems based on the misperception” that the youngest students may find it difficult to wear masks. 

B.C. has reported nearly 6,100 active COVID-19 infections across the province, with 2,239 new cases of the virus diagnosed between Friday and Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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