Posts Tagged "School"

23Oct

COVID-19 update for Oct. 23-24: 649 new cases, 13 deaths | B.C. school boards told to determine their own vaccine policy for staff | Outbreak at North Vancouver long-term care home

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 23-24, 2021.

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We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on Oct. 22:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 200,898 (5,106 active)
• New cases since Oct. 21: 649
• Total deaths: 2,109 (13 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 365 (down by 12 patients)
• Intensive care: 143 (up by seven patients)
• Total vaccinations: 4,145,426 received first dose; 3,891,058 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 193,325
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 25 (Outbreak at Cooper Place has been declared over)

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IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s new vaccine passports

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday, Oct. 21, that Canada will have a standardized vaccine passport, with costs for the document covered through the federal budget.

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But while the vaccine cards for many provinces and territories are already compatible with the federal format, B.C.’s card — one of the first rolled out in the country — is not immediately compatible, and it will take some time to harmonize the two cards, according to provincial authorities.

When will the federal vaccine card be available and how do I get one?

According to B.C.’s Ministry of Health, the federal vaccine card will be available starting Oct. 30 and can be accessed the same way people access their B.C. vaccine card: Using the health Gateway, through the Ministry of Health’s website, by phone or by mail.

Will the federal vaccine card replace our existing one or will we need both (i.e., one for restaurants, one for travel)?

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According to Marielle Tounsi, public affairs officer with the Ministry of Health, B.C. will continue to maintain the provincial vaccine card for non-essential activities in B.C., such as restaurants and sports games, while also offering the new federal proof-of-vaccination card for those who need it to travel.

Read more HERE.

—Nathan Griffiths

B.C. school boards told to determine their own COVID-19 vaccine policy for staff

B.C.’s Education Ministry has released new guidelines to help school boards with COVID-19 vaccination policies, leaving any final decisions up to the respective boards.

The ministry says the guidelines, which include gathering data and consulting with First Nations and employee groups, will help school boards encourage vaccination in their communities and determine whether a mandatory vaccination policy works best for them.

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The ministry says it will also work with schools, public and private, to make sure they have the tools and resources to support the process.

B.C. school boards told to determine their own COVID-19 vaccine policy for staff

VICTORIA — B.C.’s Education Ministry has released new guidelines to help school boards with COVID-19 vaccination policies, leaving any final decisions up to the respective boards.

Outbreak at North Vancouver long-term care home

Vancouver Coastal Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Amica Edgemont Village after a resident and two staff tested positive for the virus.

Edgemont Village is a private care facility owned and operated by Amica Senior Lifestyles. The long-term care unit on the facility’s first floor is closed to new admissions and transfers and all group activities have been suspended. Visits to that unit have also been suspended except for essential care or compassionate visits at the end of life.

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13 deaths, 7 more patients hospitalized

B.C. health officials reported 649 new COVID-19 cases Friday along with 13 additional deaths due to the respiratory virus.

Of the new cases, 281 were people in the Fraser Health region, 61 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 88 in Interior Health, 130 in Northern Health and 89 in Island Health.

There were 365 active cases in hospital, a drop of 12 patients since yesterday, and an increase of seven active cases in critical or intensive care for a total of 143 patients. Since the start of the pandemic, B.C. has reported 200,898 cases. The total deaths are now 2,109.

Although no new health-care facility outbreaks were reported, a total of 25 long-term care, assisted-living homes or acute care facilities remain affected by the spread of COVID-19. The outbreak at Vancouver’s Cooper Place was declared over Friday.

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B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

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8Oct

Sarah McLachlan School of Music celebrates over 10 years of meeting students where they’re at

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SoM Vancouver began as an outreach program in partnership with the Arts Umbrella in April 2002.

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Asked which of the programs at her own school she might have appreciated as a music student, Sarah McLachlan answers with a laugh.

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“Which one wouldn’t I have?”

The Vancouver-based singer grew up in Halifax, where she attended the Maritime Conservatory of Music. Today, she oversees the Sarah McLachlan School of Music (SoM), which recently celebrated its 10th year of providing education to students in its Mount Pleasant location.

The school offers a wide range of programs, from traditional skills such as playing an instrument and composing, as well as turntablism, beat-making and stage production.

“We look at what the students enjoy, and listen to and aspire towards,” McLachlan said. “We’ve done a lot of work asking the kids what appeals to them and what they want to get out of this. Through their answers, we’ve been able to create something really powerful.”

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SoM Vancouver began as an outreach program in partnership with the Arts Umbrella in April 2002. In 2011, McLachlan opened its first physical location with support from the Wolverton Foundation, which is dedicated to helping provide children in B.C. with access to the arts, and the City of Vancouver.

Since 2016, SoM has offered programming in Surrey, out of Forsyth Elementary, and in Edmonton, out of Eastglen high school. A new SoM location is expected to open in City Centre Mall in Alberta’s capital this fall. Each year, the school welcomes more than 750 children, youth and adults 55-and-over (usually in a ukulele program). Over 70 per cent of those students go on to post-secondary study.

McLachlan was inspired to open the school following the success of the three Lilith Fair concert tours that she helped organize in the late ’90s.

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“It’s a very insular strange job we have as working musicians,” she said. “We live and work in a microcosm. There’s rarely an opportunity to meet all these other people who are doing similar things. So creating that community and being able to give back to the communities we went into were very valuable experiences for me, and confirmed my desire to create something that would continue after that.”

Along with the courses, the school’s teaching methods are designed to meet students where they’re at.

“To keep kids engaged you have to go to them and figure them out and what they need and how to access and reach them and keep them engaged,” McLachlan said. “That’s a huge part of what I think is innovative about our program. We tailor the classes around them, where their skill sets are, what their desires are, and how they learn.”

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In terms of learning approaches, program director Andrea Unrau says that this might mean introducing a “music discovery program” for younger or developmentally challenged students.

“There, they are just trying a whole bunch of things,” said Unrau.

A teacher as well as an administrator, Unrau has a background in developmental neuroscience and music cognition.

“They’re going to do a thing we call ‘entrainment,’ which is basically where the beat is so strong that you have to dance along, sing along, play the drum along, and you’re not working on the cognitive part, the thinking-about-thinking. That isn’t really coming online until you’re 11 or 12. If you’re younger or face some learning challenges, we have programs that are a little more exploratory.”

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The school also stresses the importance of attaining skills that go beyond composition and musicianship.

“When you’re learning music, what you’re really learning are the life skills that you need to exist in the world in any capacity — such as learning to be creative and curious and working towards your goals, and being flexible,” Unrau said.

These are the kinds of lessons McLachlan might have appreciated during her years at the Maritime Conservatory.

“I discovered later that music is meant to be shared. To play with each other, to play instruments together, to sing together — there’s just such a power and community in that.”

Fourteen-year-old Nathan Nowak has been learning to write and produce with his classmates in Global Hip Hop. Once finished, the students upload the songs to the school’s YouTube channel.

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Before coming to SoM four years ago, Nowak says that he had no music-playing ability. “Now, I’d like to say I’m not bad.” He can play “a little bit of piano, a little bit of guitar. I’ve rapped.”

A student at Burnaby South, he takes classes at the music school one day a week.

“There are so many different things you can do at SoM,” Nowak said. “There are so many computers, and there’s so much different and updated technology. At my actual school, they have like 1950s computers.”

Nowak, who would like to be a rapper, may or may not go on to a career in music. But that’s not the point.

“We’re not really looking to create career musicians,” Unrau said. “We’re working towards people finding their voice and being able to share their message.

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“That said, with our help and support it’s easier than ever for them to share their music with the world. They might be going into a totally different career but they have a chance to get their creative message out into the world.”

Local arts education

• LeBlanc School of Acting. Specializing in workshops, camps and online courses for youth, the LeBlanc School of Acting has placed a number of teen and preteen performers in TV and movie roles. (leblancschool.com)

• Arts Umbrella. The long-running local group offers programs in art and design, dance, and theatre, music and film for students two-to-22 in four locations. (artsumbrella.com)

• Realwheels Acting Academy. On Sept. 20, Realwheels Theatre launched its own professional training program. The program is tailored to those who self-identify with the disability community and/or who is D/deaf, including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, disabled people, people with hidden disability and neurodiverse individuals. (realwheels.ca/academy)

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Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

11Sep

Excited, anxious and stressed: how Canadians felt as school resumed this week | CBC News

by admin

Anticipation, excitement, stress and anxiety: many Canadians felt a heady mix of emotions as students headed back to in-person classes across the country this week.

Students, parents and educators shared their first impressions about returning to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what some of them told CBC News. 

‘I got you covered’

Monday night was “pretty stressful” for Theresa Morris as she organized school supplies and labelled each pencil, eraser and container her daughter needs since pandemic rules dictate students can’t share them. On Tuesday morning, the Surrey, B.C., mom was so preoccupied with getting eight-year-old Azel and toddler George ready that it wasn’t until they were nearly at school that she realized she’d forgotten her mask. 

“My daughter had two masks in her hand and she’s like: ‘I got you covered,'” Morris said. “So we definitely have the preparation thing down.”

Theresa Morris and her toddler, George, pick up her daughter Azel from the eight-year-old’s Surrey, B.C., school on Wednesday. (Submitted by Theresa Morris)

Morris’s first reaction upon arriving was surprise at the large number of students queuing up for each class and how few of them — or their parents — were wearing masks.

Along with class size and safety protocols, Morris is concerned about how teachers this year will address gaps in learning due to the pandemic.

Azel was excited and happy to be starting Grade 3 this week, Morris said, but that was in large part due to the more than $4,000 worth of daily tutoring the youngster had this summer and will continue with this fall. 

Having experienced disruptions last school year, Azel felt insecure and lacked confidence because she often didn’t understand what was being taught, Morris said. Testing later confirmed Azel had fallen behind.

Now, even though her daughter feels caught up, Morris wants to know what’s being done to help kids with learning gaps. “It would be nice just to see what kind of supports are offered for the schools [and] by the schools,” she said.

WATCH | As the fall term gets underway, this is what Dr. Janine McCready will be watching out for:

What an infectious disease doc is watching for with kids back at school

With the fall term underway, infectious disease physician Janine McCready is keeping her eye on how schools are implementing several key COVID-19 safety measures. 2:39

Hopeful but worried

For Afrooz Cianfrone, Wednesday marked the first time since March 2020 that her sons Jobim and Dante have stepped into a classroom in person after attending school virtually last year

“It was emotional in the morning,” said the Vaughan, Ont., mother. “We went through a whole drill of how to go to the washroom, what to do with masks, how to eat our food, how to stay away. It’s been stressful, I’m not going to lie.” 

Afrooz Cianfrone walks her sons Jobim, left, and Dante, right, home after their first day of school on Wednesday, their first time back in person since March 2020. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

After school, eight-year-old Jobim described the first day of Grade 3 as “good,” while six-year-old Dante was happy he saw friends in his Grade 1 class. Still, though more hopeful about this new school year, Cianfrone remains worried about a host of issues, from vaccination policies to class sizes and insufficient ventilation.

“We can’t have a reactive approach anymore,” she said. “I think we have to be more proactive, especially since we have been through it once. We have to do everything to keep the kids safe.”

‘Nothing better than the first day’

It’s tradition at St. John Bosco School to “dance into the school year with music,” according to principal Linda Hart. On Wednesday morning, tunes blared and high-fives were shared in a family reunion-like atmosphere, as students arrived at the St. John’s school.  

“There’s nothing better than the first day of school: fresh start, new beginnings, people are recharged after the summer and there’s just a lot of excitement in the air,” Hart said.

Linda Hart, principal of St. John Bosco School in St. John’s, welcomed students back to school with music on Wednesday. (CBC)

“You do miss [students] over the summer and when you see them — when they come back and they’re all taller and tanned for being outdoors all the time and they’ve got that excitement for learning — it just makes you feel good inside.”

It’s important students continue to feel that warmth and support in the months ahead, she said. 

“They’ve had a rough couple of years. We want to make sure they’re happy, content and in good spirits,” she said. 

WATCH | Students back at school this week met with a mix of COVID-19 safety protocols

Back-to-school safety protocols vary by province, school district

As more Canadian students head back to school, they are met with a range of COVID-19 safety protocols that differ widely by province, and sometimes, by school district. 1:54

High school ‘way closer to normal’

On Arryan Rao’s first day of Grade 10 on Thursday, he boarded a bus to school and sat in classrooms alongside about two dozen other students learning about nutrition and English. He caught up with friends at lunch — while “sitting evenly spaced apart,” he pointed out.

Arryan Rao got a taste of a nearly-normal high school day on Thursday as he started Gr. 10 and it has whet his appetite for even more. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The day was “way closer to normal” than what he has so far experienced at high school since the pandemic started, the 15-year-old said. 

It has whet his appetite for a more substantial return to pre-pandemic life — especially field trips, in-person tournaments and international student competitions.

“I was really nervous about today because I didn’t know how it would be… It turned out to be a lot more ‘like usual’ than I ever even anticipated,” said the Mississauga, Ont. teen.

“I haven’t properly experienced high school yet. Today was the first day that I actually got to see [a nearly] normal high school. So I’m just anxious and excited to see how this is all going to play out.”

‘Jumping in head-first’

At school early on Wednesday as an ambassador to incoming Grade 9 students, M.J. Dela Cruz was eager to return to the halls of Winnipeg’s West Kildonan Collegiate. 

“I’m not nervous at all. I’m more excited than nervous,” said the Grade 11 student. “I’ve always been a school person and coming back to school full-time, with everyone in the school, is something that I’m looking forward to.”

West Kildonan Collegiate student leaders are seen on the first day of school Wednesday. From left: M.J. Dela Cruz, Ella Spence, Mitzi Ponce and Jordan Dearsley. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

What the teen is looking forward to most is resuming choir and dance more fully than under last year’s pandemic restrictions, when “it didn’t feel like the normal experience of dancing because we couldn’t really connect with one another.”

Though things won’t be fully back to pre-pandemic levels “we’re jumping in head first, ready to sing whenever we can,” whether it’s masked indoors or singing with spacing outdoors, said choir teacher Roberta Velarde.

According to English and drama teacher Tanya Henry, West Kildonan students understand how safety measures help the school maintain in-person classes.

“Students have really shown they can really rise to those challenges and they’re encouraging each other,” she said. “We’re just going to try to stay on that positive note and go forward.”

Masked students sit in a Franco-Cité Catholic High School classroom in Ottawa. (CBC)

‘Definitely going to be a unique experience’

After discovering how the pandemic can leave students feeling isolated, Norah Rahman is proactively engaging in social and academic life on campus at the University of Toronto.

Ahead of her first day, she had already built a small group of new friends through Instagram. On Thursday, a group of them gathered at Robarts Library so they could take their very first class — which was delivered online — together. 

This summer, the 17-year-old life sciences student sought out the university’s academic programs supporting Grade 12 students moving into post-secondary education. She also joined the school’s Muslim Students’ Association in an outreach role and landed a job at Hart House on campus.

First-year student Norah Rahman has proactively immersed herself in campus life at the University of Toronto. (Submitted by Norah Rahman)

She’s optimistic about building an active life on campus while balancing online and in-person learning. Her full course load includes biology, chemistry and anthropology as well as literary and investigative journalism.

“I’m doing the best I can do with what I’m being given,” she said. 

“This pandemic and this online situation is kind of pushing me out of my comfort zone… It’s definitely going to be a unique experience and that’s something within itself that has value.”

24Jun

Latest on campus with the University of Saskatchewan | Watch News Videos Online

by admin


School’s wrapping up on campus at the University of Saskatchewan, but what’s the plan for this fall? USask President Peter Stoicheff joins Global News Morning with the latest.

17Jun

‘Out of hand’ grad prank leaves school halls in a sticky mess — and students facing charges | CBC News

by admin

Police in Nelson, B.C., say a group of high school students could be facing criminal charges following a graduation prank late Sunday that caused thousands of dollars in damage — and left the interior of the area’s only high school a sprawling, sticky mess of foodstuffs, glitter and dye.

The prank inside L.V. Rogers Secondary School “got out of hand” late June 13, the Nelson Police Department said in a written statement Thursday, resulting in vandalism to two entire floors and the basement, including classrooms and the staff lounge.

Classes had to be cancelled on Monday due to the damage and it took about 40 parents, teachers and janitorial staff from across the district the entire day to clean up, according to Staff Sgt. Brian Weber.

“Upwards of quite a few dozen eggs, ketchup, mustard, shaving cream, glitter, food dye — those were the kind of things that were spread throughout two whole floors of the school,” Weber said Thursday.

Some of the students allegedly involved could now be facing criminal charges of break and enter and mischief over $5,000.

“That’s a pretty big dollar sign when you’re looking at young folks. You certainly don’t want to look to charges as your first option, but they are there as a possibility,” Weber said.

A washroom doused in what appears to be shaving cream. (Submitted by Nelson Police Department)

He said charges will depend on the outcome of what he called “very full, frank interviews” with about 20 students and their parents about what took place on Sunday. 

Four students were arrested and released, and charges are still being considered against some of those Weber called “instigators.”

“It’s always disappointing when we see wanton destruction,” he said.

17Jun

COVID-19 update for June 17: B.C. government to provide update on back to school planning | Health officials plan for managing virus in future | 113 new cases, four deaths

by admin

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for June 17, 2021.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on June 16:• Total number of confirmed cases: 146,674 (1,454 active cases)
• New cases since June 15: 113
• Total deaths: 1,738 (4 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 134
• Intensive care: 41
• Total vaccinations: 4,165,142 doses administered; 710,847 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 143,449
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 4

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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

9:30 a.m. – Education and health officials provide update on planning for back to school in fall

Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, Stephanie Higginson, president of the BC School Trustees Association, and Andrea Sinclair, president of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils provide an update on planning for back to school in September.

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6 a.m. – B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

The future of COVID-19 could look a lot like seasonal flus or other common illnesses like measles or pneumonia, British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says.

Dr. Reka Gustafson said it’s hard to speculate on the longevity of COVID-19 but public health officials are preparing for a shift to more typical communicable disease management based on the characteristics and behaviour of the virus.

“We certainly wouldn’t be surprised if this virus turns into one of the circulating coronaviruses in the population. That would be our best bet at this point,” she said in an interview.

British Columbia entered the second stage of its reopening plan Tuesday after surpassing target rates for first-dose vaccinations amid a sharp decline in new cases. More restrictions are scheduled to be lifted on July 1 and the fourth and final stage of the reopening plan is slated to go into effect on Sept. 7, if that trajectory continues.

For the public, life should return to pre-pandemic norms of interaction in September if all goes as planned, Gustafson said, adding that she believes the plan is “very cautious and sensible.”

Behind the scenes, public health officials are anticipating a shift away from emergency pandemic management toward communicable disease control, she said. However, even as a more routine strategy replaces the all-hands-on-deck approach, Gustafson said it will involve many of the same tools: testing, surveillance, case and contact management, and immunization strategies.

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-The Canadian Press

12 a.m. – B.C. reports 113 new cases of COVID-19 and four deaths

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are 1,320 active cases of COVID-19 in the community with 134 being treated in hospital, including 41 in intensive care.

Henry reported 113 new cases on Wednesday and four deaths – bringing that total to 1,738 since the pandemic was declared in March, 2020. COVID-19 cases, active cases and hospitalizations are all falling.

Henry said B.C. had among the highest levels of dose one vaccination in the world. On Tuesday there were 62,237 doses administered across B.C., most of which (53,356) were second doses. There have now been 3,454,295 people in B.C. who have received at least one dose of vaccine, or 74.5 per cent of people aged 12 and over.

12 a.m. – Pandemic to last at least two years, says UK health official

COVID-19 variants will continue to emerge and “we will not be through this pandemic until the whole world has the ability to get vaccinated,” Susan Hopkins, deputy director of Public Health England’s National Infection Service, said at a House of Commons science committee meeting.

“And that realistically is two years away.”

“And until that, where we get some level of control over everything, we will continue to see variants emerge, we will continue to run behind as we try and understand this, and we will get to a position of stability, where we are with … seasonal influenza.

– Bloomberg

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B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

14Jun

Catholic order that staffed Kamloops residential school refuses to share records families seek | CBC News

by admin

The order of nuns that taught at the former Kamloops residential school, and others in B.C., continues to withhold important documents that could help tell the story of how Indigenous children died at the schools over the last 150 years.

The Sisters of St. Ann has never approved the release of relevant government records — documents that could relate to deaths at the schools —  according to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the religious order.

“It might be because there were things that weren’t relevant to the school system or names of those students, as well as other people like visitors,” said Sister Marie Zarowny, a St. Ann spokesperson. 

She also said the sisters have provided some documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission about the residential school system, but is unwilling to share some records outlining internal workings of the congregation, as well as what is called the school “narrative.”

“What is in those documents, why can’t I have access to them?” said Bronwyn Shoush, whose father attended St. Mary’s residential school in Mission, B.C.

Like Kamloops, it was also staffed by the Sisters of St. Ann and administered by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Seven of her father’s nine siblings lay buried in the residential school cemetery. The children were all in marked graves that have since fallen into disrepair, she says. Yet she knows very little about how they came to die at school. Her father told her one sibling was killed in what he was told was an accident — falling on a pitchfork. Another died suddenly and others from Illness, but Shoush has few other details.

The National Student Memorial Register lists 21 children as having died at St. Mary’s, but to add to the confusion, none of her aunts or uncles are named.  

“The longer it’s locked up and held or destroyed or held in secret, the more you’re likely to be very suspicious,” Shoush said. 

The St. Mary’s residential school cemetery in Mission, B.C., where school children as well as nuns and the institution’s administrators are buried. (Submitted by Bronwyn Shoush)

It also goes against the Truth and Reconciliation mandate as set up by the Indian Residential School Settlement agreement. 

“This is a concern and remains inconsistent with the actions of the vast majority of other signatories to the Settlement Agreement,” reads a statement from Stephanie Scott, executive director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. 

‘Turn over these records immediately”

The Royal B.C. Museum that houses St. Ann’s private archival collection has appealed to the nuns to “provide better accessibility of these records to the public — but particularly to Indigenous communities whose members attended residential schools.”

Researchers can access the archives by appointment, but some have noted it’s not always easy to do so. 

The B.C. government also called on Sister of St. Ann, imploring them “to turn over these records immediately.”

In the order’s defence, Zarowny said St. Ann wanted to be able to fix history inaccuracies before documents were made public.

But Ry Moran, who guided the creation the TRC’s national archive says having a hodgepodge of the records conceals more important truths.

“The biggest inaccuracy is that kids’ own names were robbed from them and replaced with Christian Western names,” Moran said.

St. Mary’s residential school cemetery. The National Student Memorial Register names 21 children who died at the school, but none of Bronwyn’s relatives are listed on it. (Submitted by Bronwyn Shoush)

“We’re going back and figuring out what names, lands, territories, identities and villages were actually stolen from kids in the first place.”

The sisters taught at a St. Mary’s, Kamloops, Kuper Island and Lower Post Indian residential schools where children experienced rampant physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Records can be forced by law

St. Ann is not the only entity to refuse to hand over the documents.  

Father Ken Thorson of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate told the CBC that his congregation would not be providing personnel files of the staff at the residential schools citing privacy laws. 

Those could include disciplinary records of nuns who treated children poorly.

But the TRC’s mandate outlines that “In cases where privacy interests of an individual exist, and subject to and in compliance with applicable privacy legislation and access to information legislation, researchers for the Commission shall have access to the documents.”

And it’s not just churches who have refused to give up residential school documents. 

The federal government has been in court as early as 2020 trying to block the creation of statistical reports on residential school abuse claims.

The Supreme Court of Canada also ruled in 2017 that thousands of records documenting abuse at residential schools should be destroyed.  

In a statement, a spokesperson for Crown-Indigenous Relations said, “As per the terms of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, Canada was obligated to disclose all relevant documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

It added “the courts have consistently found that Canada has met its document disclosure obligations and that no further action is required.”

Still, those at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation disagree. 

“The federal government and provincial governments also have not shared all the records they agreed to provide to the NCTR. We continue to negotiate acquisition of further records from many settler organizations — both religious and governmental,” the statement read.  

For those like Shoush who want information about how her relatives died, it could take years of fighting just to find the truth.

 

 

 

 

13Jun

Death record and resting place found for Musqueam man Fraser Thomas, who escaped St. Paul’s Indian Residential School

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Thomas was listed as “cannot be located” in 1947 residential school records. He died in 1980 from alcoholism after surviving seven years in the institution.

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Twelve-year-old Musqueam boy Fraser Philip Thomas escaped from a personal hell when he didn’t return to the St. Paul’s Indian Residential School in North Vancouver in 1946.

Sadly, he could only run so far from what he experienced in six years at the Catholic-run facility and died of chronic alcoholism in Vancouver in 1980 — according to records unearthed over the weekend.

Last Thursday, Musqueam First Nation Chief Wayne Sparrow put out a call for information after learning Thomas was listed as “cannot be located” — according to The Sisters of the Child Jesus records for January 1947 that were handed over the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Thomas — born April 20, 1934 — was admitted to the facility in September 1940 at the request of his aunt. Thomas’ mother had died and his father was not involved. He was six at the time, 41 inches tall, weighed 38 pounds, spoke English and was in good health.

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According to school records (located by Pierre Sabourin) Thomas was a good student with perfect attendance until he failed to return from summer vacation in the fall of 1946. He was listed as missing in January 1947 and discharged the same month with a Grade 4 education and “manual training.”

Thomas’ death certificate states he died on March 11, 1980, aged 45 from chronic alcoholism. It said he was divorced, lived in Vancouver and was a manual labourer. He is buried in the Musqueam cemetery, not far from where Chief Sparrow put out his call last week. The death certificate was found by Vancouver researcher Christine Hagemoen.

Registration of Death certificate for Fraser Philip Thomas
Registration of Death certificate for Fraser Philip Thomas

Lila Wallace, 71, was among the last students to attend the St. Paul’s facility, entering for one year at age seven and leaving in 1958 (the school closed the following year).

While most of the 2,000 children who attended were from the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil Waututh First Nations, Wallace was from the Lil’wat Nation at Mount Currie.

“My personal stuff is so hard to talk about,” Wallace told Postmedia News. “But the day to day life of living in residential school was every day is the same. The nun claps her hands, wakes you up. You roll out of bed and go on your knees and say a prayer. You line up to go to the washroom, then you make your bed, then you line up to go to the chapel. Then you line up to go to breakfast, then line up to go to class. After school, even at seven, we had to go to the sewing room. Every day.”

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Wallace said female students were made to embroider their student number — hers was 38 — on all their clothing.

“That wasn’t easy for me, at seven,” she said.

Wallace witnessed violence against students and had her own deeply personal experiences that were recorded as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Last week’s Postmedia News story also reported St. Paul’s records stating 12-year-old Winona George from the Burrard band (now the Tsleil-Waututh Nation) could not be located in 1943.

Subsequent records show George started at the school at age seven at the request of her father Henry George. She weighed 50 pounds, stood 4’6″, spoke English and was in good health. She did not return to the school because, according to the records “mother deserted home, took girl away with her.”

Page from the St. Paul’s Indian Residential School’s fourth-quarter report for 1946 that shows Fraser Thomas cannot be located.
Page from the St. Paul’s Indian Residential School’s fourth-quarter report for 1946 that shows Fraser Thomas cannot be located.

dcarrigg@postmedia.com

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25May

North Vancouver school board apologizes for trustee’s ‘insensitive’ comments

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Cyndi Gerlach compared the treatment of mentally disabled children in the school system to the treatment experience by Indigenous youth in residential schools

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The North Vancouver school district has issued an apology to First Nations communities along with students, parents and staff for “highly inappropriate and insensitive” remarks made by a trustee at a recent school board meeting.

According to the North Shore News, trustee Cyndi Gerlach, in a discussion about so-called seclusion rooms, compared the treatment of intellectually disabled children in the school system to the treatment experienced by Indigenous youth in former residential schools.

“The comments were unacceptable, highly inappropriate, and insensitive, and are not representative of the collective Board of Education,” SD44 board chair George Tsiakos wrote in a letter to the chiefs, councils and members of the ​Skwxwú7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh and Métis Nations. “I would like to offer my most sincere apology to not only members of the Skwxwú7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh, and Métis Nations but also, specifically, the Indigenous students, educators, and staff who contribute so much to our school district community.”

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Seclusion rooms are spaces where students with behavioural or developmental issues are involuntarily confined to prevent them from harming themselves and others.

“There is reconciliation that also needs to happen within the disability world when it comes to education,” Gerlach said during the meeting.

She said many of the schools where children with intellectual disabilities were historically sent were “actually residential schools.”

“They went to secluded schools where they were educated only amongst themselves,” she said, adding that what happened to them in those schools was “the same that happened to Indigenous students” in residential schools.

Tsiakos said Gerlach, who he didn’t identify in the letter, was deeply remorseful for her choice of words and would offer a public apology at the next board meeting on June 22.

North Vancouver school district Supt. Mark Pearmain said Gerlach’s comments left those in attendance at the May 18 board meeting feeling “hurt and troubled.”

“We are proud of the relationship we have developed with Indigenous rights holders and community members, and we highly value and rely on this relationship as we continue on our journey of truth and reconciliation. We also acknowledge we have much work to do,” Pearmain said in a letter to students, staff and parents.

17May

COVID-19: School kids over 12 can be registered for a vaccine starting this week, says Surrey Schools boss

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“It means we can look toward not only a summer that looks much more normal, but a fall that is a return to life just as we once knew it,” says Surrey Schools Superintendent Jordan Tinney

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Parents of school kids aged 12 and over will be able to register to have them vaccinated against COVID-19 this week, according to Surrey Schools Superintendent Jordan Tinney.

On Monday, Tinney released a video to parents providing an update on COVID-19 in his school district and letting them know that provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was recommending Pfizer vaccinations for anyone over the age of 12.

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“Please look for information mid week on how to register your child to be vaccinated should you wish them to be,” Tinney said.

“The goal we are hearing as a province is to have all students vaccinated by June 30. With that they hope that by August 30 everyone will have their second dose.

“That’s game-changing information for us as a province and a school district. It also means we can look toward not only a summer that looks much more normal, but a fall that is a return to life just as we once knew it.”

Tinney said that mass vaccination of most Surrey Schools staff had led to a drop in the number of staff becoming infected with COVID-19.

“In the first 10 days of May we had seven adults reporting positive tests, and since May 11 there has only been two, including four days where no one reported positive with COVID-19,” he said. “Clearly the vaccines are working.”

There were 14 COVID-19 deaths reported in B.C. over the past three days and 1,360 new cases. Of those who died, 12 were aged 60 to 90, while one was in their 50s and the other in their 40s.

Of the 5,021 active cases of the disease in B.C., 350 are being treated in hospital including 132 in intensive care.

All key COVID-19 metrics are on the decline in B.C. as vaccination ramps up. Anyone aged 18 and over can register themselves for a vaccine at any time.

Henry said that as of Sunday 2,528,398 doses of vaccine have been administered — including 130,023 second doses. That means around three per cent of B.C.’s adult population are fully vaccinated, while more than half the population aged 18 and over had received at least one dose.

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However, Henry has given no timeline, or set of metrics, that might lead to a relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

“I expect this virus will be here for years, but how it impacts us will be very different than what’s happening right now,” she said.

“We will go to it being a virus that causes sporadic outbreaks, maybe in long-term care homes, maybe in schools, maybe in congregate settings when we come together, but most people will be protected through immunization so we won’t have the same effects of hospitalizations and deaths that we’ve seen this past year.

“But there may be times when people will need to stay home from school or work, they’ll need to wear masks in certain situations, we’ll need to make sure we have rapid testing available to detect if somebody is sick.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that when we get to the immunization levels that we need to protect those most at risk in the next few months and get second doses in people, that we will not be in a pandemic anymore.”

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


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