Ontario school plan includes continuous masking, no vaccine warrant – .

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Ontario school plan includes continuous masking, no vaccine warrant – .


Long-awaited guide outlines the rules for a return to in-person learning

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The long-awaited plan for a return to Ontario schools outlines the rules for masks, distancing, preschool screening, and more.

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However, the back-to-school plan does not provide for compulsory vaccination of staff, but provides guidance on how more than 2 million students will return to in-person learning.

“I am delighted that our children are returning to school in September,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario.

The measures include:

– Staff and students should self-assess every day before going to school.

– Pupils from grades 1 to 12 must wear masks inside the school, including in the hallways and during lessons, as well as in school vehicles.

– Masks are not compulsory during physical education or while eating or drinking.

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There’s also advice on cohort, social distancing, transport rules, and breakdown.

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The plan says vaccines are an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but does not make injections mandatory.

“School boards are encouraged to work with local public health units to reach families to promote immunization,” the plan says.

Moore urged students aged 12 to 17 to get vaccinated before September.

Data shows that 71% of this age group received an injection; 48% obtained both.

Last week, nurses in Ontario called for mandatory vaccination of teachers unless they have a medical exemption.

The reaction to the plan to reopen the schools was swift on the part of school boards and teachers.

“We’re very happy that the goal is to keep kids in school all year round because that’s where they should be,” said Cathy Abraham of the School Boards’ Association.

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Karen Littlewood, of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, praised the hiding provisions of the plan.

“There aren’t, however, some of the smaller cohorts,” she added. “In the plan it says to get as far as possible into a classroom – I find that a bit too vague. “

With fears of a fourth wave, the plan recognizes the potential for a setback.

“Distance learning remains an option for parents, even though school boards are planning for students to return to in-person learning,” he says.

Plan Highlights

Screening

School boards should provide parents with a checklist for daily screening of their children before they arrive at school. Self-assessment tools should be made available to staff to ensure awareness of possible symptoms of COVID-19.

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Masking rules for students

Students in grades 1 to 12 must wear masks inside the school, including in hallways, during lessons, and in school vehicles. Exceptions include during physical education and meals. Students are not required to wear masks outdoors, but distancing should be encouraged between cohorts.

Masking rules for kindergarten students

Wearing a mask is encouraged but not compulsory in indoor spaces, as well as on school vehicles.

Outdoor recreation and breaks

Students do not need to stay in their cohort during recess and outdoor breaks, but distancing should be encouraged.

Vaccination

School boards are encouraged to work with local public health units to reach families and promote immunization.

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Shared documents

The plan allows for the use of shared materials such as computers, books, art supplies, indoor physical education materials, and toys for imaginative play in kindergarten.

Transport

School vehicles can operate at full capacity with assigned seats. Vehicles intended for primary school students should reduce capacity where possible. The seat directly behind the driver in school buses must be left empty.

Ventilation

School boards are expected to continue to optimize air quality in classrooms and learning environments by improving ventilation and / or filtration.

The music

Music programs are permitted in areas with adequate ventilation.

The use of wind instruments is permitted within a cohort if a minimum distance of two meters or more can be maintained. As large a distance as possible should be encouraged and the use of large, well-ventilated spaces should be favored. The use of wind instruments is permitted outdoors in mixed cohorts, with a distance encouraged.

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Singing is allowed inside. Masking is encouraged but not mandatory for singing indoors if a minimum distance of two meters can be maintained between cohorts and as much distance as possible maintained within a cohort.

Health / physical education

Use of gymnasiums, swimming pools, locker rooms, weight rooms, indoor physical education equipment and shared outdoor equipment is permitted with a distance. High and low contact activities are permitted. High contact activities are only permitted outdoors. Masking is not mandatory.

Excursions

Day trips and overnight stays are permitted and must meet applicable provincial requirements

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