Surrey school district’s office. (File photo)

Wildfire smoke shifts plans for Surrey schools on Monday

‘Our school district has been closely monitoring the situation,’ school district says

Steps are being taken by Surrey Schools to limit smoke exposure for staff and students.

An air-quality advisory was posted to the district’s website late Sunday afternoon (Sept. 13), due to wildfire smoke from active fires in Washington and Oregon.

“Our school district has been closely monitoring the situation, and is consulting with the Ministry of Education and our public health experts to ensure that our schools continue to be safe environments for our staff and students,” the post says.

At the advice of our local Medical Health Officer, Surrey Schools will limit smoke exposure for staff and students by:

• Allowing students who are sensitive to the smoke to remain indoors during lunch/breaks;

• Closing exterior doors and windows and utilizing filtered ventilation systems;

• Rescheduling outdoor activities, particularly strenuous activities like PE;

• Closely monitor students with asthma or other breathing conditions.

• All of our schools will continue implementing COVID-19 infection control practices, including maintaining health checks, regular handwashing, remaining in assigned learning groups/cohorts and physical distancing.

Surrey’s school plan for the return to classes: Here’s what to expect

Smoke levels on Monday are expected to be lower, according to Metro Vancouver.

“However, localized smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.

“Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (µm) or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.”

Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at www.airmap.ca and http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html .

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