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Second Protect Our Province BC briefing to spotlight COVID-19 and schools, hear from infected parent on urgent need to make schools safer

Protect Our Province BC will host its second live briefing on Wednesday, October 27, at 4pm. Experts will discuss the evolving science related to COVID-19, children, and schools, and how we can make BC schools safer based on this evidence.

“Case counts remain high in many communities, the more transmissible and severe Delta variant is circulating, children under 12 cannot yet access vaccines, and yet BC is rolling back public health protections. This briefing will examine the body of evidence related to COVID-19 and school transmission, and offer concrete measures to make BC schools safer,” said Dr. Karina Zeidler, family physician and co-founder of POP BC.

The weight of the scientific literature shows that children get COVID-19, can transmit at home and at school, and that measures to protect against this airborne virus, including good ventilation, better masks, and testing, can help protect children and their families from infection, severe outcomes, and Long COVID. 

“In BC, some children have experienced severe outcomes. As of October 9, there have been two deaths, 242 hospitalizations, and 33 ICU admissions. We do not know how many children suffer Long COVID as BC does not collect this data, but international estimates suggest up to 14% of those infected will develop long-term symptoms,” said Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, a retired emergency physician.

Speakers will offer a multidisciplinary perspective on the science on COVID-19, children, and schools. The briefing will also feature parent Elizabete Costa who will recount her family’s experience of continuing to suffer from COVID-19 symptoms, after contracting it at the beginning of the school year.  

Risk Management engineer Michelle Naef will explain the tools to help with improving ventilation during a pandemic, and teacher Jennifer Heighton will speak to transmission in schools and additional measures BC could be taking that would help to make schools safer.

Speakers will include:

  • Dr. James Heilman, MD, Emergency Physician
  • Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, MD, Retired Emergency Physician
  • Michelle Naef, P.Eng, PhD candidate at the University of Alberta, in the David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering, Safety and Risk Management
  • Elizabete Costa, parent, member of Safe Schools Coalition BC
  • Jennifer Heighton, teacher and education advocate; co-founder of Safe Schools Coalition BC

Protect Our Province BC is a grassroots group of physicians, nurses, health scientists, health policy specialists and community advocates. We are working together to help people in BC stay safe by sharing accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic in BC, and advocating for evidence-based policies. Our ultimate goal is to end this pandemic through a vaccines-plus strategy that includes ventilation, better masks, and improved testing and contact tracing.

Subsequent briefings will be scheduled with dates to be announced. Briefings will include both analysis on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in BC and expert presentations on a variety of pandemic-related topics.

Archived Briefings from Protect Our Province BC

Title image for briefing April 20 - COVID in the House: Protect Your Loved Ones
Wednesday, April 27th from 12:00-1:00 PDT What should you do if someone in your house tests positive for COVID-19? How do we prevent it from passing to loved ones in the household? Why should we care? Data is emerging that, due to variant mutations, COVID-19 reinfections are happening, even in highly-vaccinated countries. For that reason,… Continue reading COVID-19 in the House: How to Protect Your Loved Ones
Title image for Briefing 14 April 7, 2022 - COVID Doesn't Take Breaks, Neither Can We
Thursday, April 7 at 12:00 noon PDT Ignoring the 6th wave won’t stop it. What does the evidence say? Join Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, Dr. Brenda Hardie, and Gosia Gasperowicz, PhD, as they discuss what BC needs to do to lower community transmission as the most infectious strain of COVID ever becomes dominant across the globe.… Continue reading COVID-19 Doesn’t Take Breaks. Neither Can We.
Title image for Briefing 13: Ethics in Canada, March 23, 2022
Wednesday, March 23rd, 12:30-1:30 pm PT Join Canadian researcher and author Jon Parsons in a discussion with Protect our Province BC member Dr. Amy Tan about how Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic amounts to a failure of ethical action.  The pandemic has brought issues with Canada’s governing systems and cultural identity into full view:… Continue reading Lack of Ethics: How Canada is Failing with COVID-19

More News from Protect Our Province BC

Post title - reinstate masks in public spaces
Protect Our Province BC, Safe Schools Coalition BC and BC School COVID Tracker are coming together to ask for mask protection in indoor public spaces, businesses, schools and on public transit in BC. The removal of BC’s mandated health protections has us concerned for the health and well-being of all British Columbians. “Now that masking… Continue reading Protect Our Province BC, Safe Schools Coalition BC and BC School COVID Tracker Issue Joint Press Release
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On March 11th, the British Columbia Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry lifted the indoor mask mandate for most public places, with the main exception being healthcare settings.  TransLink immediately followed suit and lifted its own mask requirement, leaving commuters on  buses and trains with very few COVID-19 precautions. Unlike BC, Ontario and Quebec have… Continue reading Transit Users Ask Translink to Keep Mask Protections in Place.
Title image for blog April 2 - N95 masks and transmission
Share this: April 2, 2022  A Guest Post by Tim Henthorne, B.A.Sc., P. Eng Over the past two years, we have been flooded with opinions regarding the wearing of masks, all while trying to learn how to deal with the existential threat of COVID-19. Unfortunately, much confusion has come from Public Health itself with its… Continue reading N95 Masks & the Transmission of COVID-19