(Saanich Police)

On the first day of school reopening since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C., police and RCMP across the province have issued reminders for drivers to go slow in school zones that are now in effect.

Drivers are expected to drive at 30 km/h between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on school days in these zones.

Two weeks after the province began Phase 2 of their restart plan, students have started going back to in-class instruction on a partial, voluntary basis.

This means students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 have started going to school 50 per cent of the time — such as alternating days — while kids in grades 6 to 12 go to school one day a week.

See also: B.C. top doctor bans overnight summer camps for children and youth this year

On Saturday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry assured British Columbians that schools are now safe for students to attend.

According to her, just one per cent of all coronavirus cases in the province have been detected in people under the age of 19, which is an encouraging sign that the risk of transmission at schools will be low.

Public health officials in B.C. also purposely designed their plan to make sure there would be a period of two weeks between the time they eased economic and social restrictions and the time kids were allowed to return to classrooms.

During her briefing, Dr. Henry stated that if there had been a surge of new cases during those two weeks, the June 1 school reopening date would have been pushed back.

As cases have remained low, however, the original plan will move forward. Dr. Henry does expect there to be some new cases as a result of schools reopening, but adds that authorities are well equipped to monitor and manage any outbreaks at these institutions.

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