School boards await new guidance from province on COVID protocols – .

School boards await new guidance from province on COVID protocols – .

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As preparations continue for a safe return to in-person learning in September, Gray-Bruce school boards await new guidance from the province on COVID-related health and safety protocols for staff and the students.

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“We understand that more information will be available soon and once these details are known we will share them with our families, the public and the media,” said Jamie Pettit, communications officer for the Bluewater District School Board.

Gary O’Donnell, director of education for the Bruce Gray Catholic District School Board, said he expects the Ontario Ministry of Education to release official guidelines shortly, possibly as early as next week.

These guidelines will then be used when the board finalizes its health and safety rules for schools.

“We anticipate there will be COVID measures like this year, we just don’t know exactly what they are and hope the ministry document will communicate expectations regarding COVID protocols for back to school,” O’Donnell said on July 29.

The comments from the two largest school boards in the region come after Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said this week that unvaccinated students will face different isolation rules than students vaccinated at two doses in September if they come into contact with a subject at high risk. no one.

After the contact, students who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and received their second injection at least 14 days before will be tested for the virus. If they were negative, these students could return to school and sports immediately.

Students who are not fully immune will also receive a COVID-19 test immediately, but regardless of the result, they will not be able to resume learning in person for at least 10 days. They would be tested again after about seven days, Moore said. If the student is positive on day 7, they will be on leave for an additional 10 days.

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“A tremendous benefit of being vaccinated with two doses being able to stay in school and play sports and participate fully in all school social activities,” Moore said in a COVID-19 update on the 27th. July.

So far, about 65 percent of Ontario youth ages 12 to 17 have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 42 percent have received a second injection. A 28-day interval is needed between doses and it takes 14 days after the second stroke to develop full immunity, Moore said.

The province has yet to release its full back-to-school plan, but Moore said he expects it to happen in the coming weeks.

The Health Department’s fall plan could also include masking requirements, he said, and the province could encourage a regional approach to masking.

Pettit said the Bluewater District School Board’s goal is to ensure that all eligible and willing students and staff can be fully immunized by September. But that’s not something the board mandated.

“If there are any new requirements that impact our protocols, we will be sure to communicate them when we know more,” he said.


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