The Ontario Government has rejected a request from the Toronto District Board of Education (TDSB) to maintain masking rules in the classroom when students return to school from next spring break in March.
On March 11, TDSB Chair Alexander Brown called on Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, to spend more time coordinating health measures at school. announcement Ontario lifts mask obligations in most public places, including schools March 21st.
“Masking, distance, CohortingAnd at the same time, daily screening protection would go against our multi-layered approach to protecting our school community from the COVID-19 epidemic, “Brown wrote. In the letter Which one He also addressed Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa.
Students aged 5 to 11 years, citing the Board’s obligation to “serve students and staff with weakened immunity, medically vulnerable, and at high risk of complications from COVID-19,” Brown said. And 5 Disqualified For vaccination.
In response, Moore said the “Omicron peak” has passed and, as a result, many public health measures can be lifted.
“Keeping this path, we will take a more balanced and long-term approach to the state’s pandemic response, including schools in Ontario, by removing many of the emergency measures taken over the last two years. Can be. “He wrote In the letter on March 17th..
He says many health measures are in place to protect students and staff who need to continue self-screening daily before going to school or childcare, and that sick people are required to stay at home. Stated. The government will also continue to upgrade school screening tools and ventilation equipment, as well as provide staff and students with rapid antigen testing and free personal protective equipment.
of news release Published Thursday, the TDSB encouraged students and staff to “respect individual choices” in order to continue wearing masks, even though they are no longer required.
At least one school board said it plans to maintain student and staff mask rules during the “two-week transition period” until April 1.
Hamilton-Wentworth District Board of Education (HWDSB) said In a news release On Thursday, a two-week period aims to mitigate the COVID-19 epidemic after the March holidays and allow students who do not want to return to school without public health restrictions to move to distance learning. is.
“We understand that some families are worried before returning to school on Monday and are aware of the disagreements over mask requirements,” said HWDSB.
Students who do not wear masks will be reminded of the HWDSB instructions, but will be exempt. All previously submitted student mask exemptions will be respected, but parents wishing to apply for an exemption for their children must complete a new form by March 21st.