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Trustees Failed Bid to Bring Mandatory Masking Back to School Board Agenda

“If there is a direction from Ottawa Public Health, we will follow it. All other commissions will do the same.

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board's committee of the whole and full board of trustees aren't scheduled to meet again until September, after the new school year begins.
Member of the Ottawa-Carlton District School Board Board-wide and Board-wide Boards are not scheduled to meet again until September, when the new school year begins. Photo by Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Lawmakers discuss mandatory masking before school starts this fall. On Monday, the education minister called for a special meeting of trustees after announcing that masking would be voluntary in Ontario schools in September.

Lyra Evans, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board trustee.
Lyra Evans, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Director. Photo by Lyra Evans /Handout

However, a majority of the 12-member Trustees disagreed with the meeting. Therefore, the topic is omitted. It's being discussed at this point, Evans said.

Immunocompromised students will be exposed to her COVID if everyone does not wear a mask, she argues Evans. Many children remove their masks to participate in sports and recreational activities, but that's not a luxury for some families, Evans added. We must maintain a higher standard than Wreck Soccer.”

In April, after Ontario withdrew its power of attorney on March 21, the Ottawa-Carlton Commission temporarily held a It was one of the few committees to maintain masking requirements.

At that time, eight trustees voted in favor of the motion, three abstained, and one voted against.

On Tuesday, board chairman Lynn Scott said the board had clearly heard from Lecce that wearing masks would not be mandatory. While masks will be encouraged in schools, it will be difficult to enforce mandatory masks without direction from either Ottawa Public Health or Ontario's chief medical officer, Dr Scott said.

Lecce said he consulted key medical experts, including the Children's Health Coalition and Health Physicians, in formulating health and safety measures in schools for 2022-2023. Lecce said most health and safety requirements, including voluntary use of masks, remain unchanged from previous instructions provided at the end of the past school year on Moore's advice.

On Monday, Ottawa's Catholic School Board said wearing masks in schools was voluntary, following Lecce's instructions.

Lynn Scott, chair of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
Lynn Scott, Ottawa-Carlton District School Board Chair. Photo credit: Lynn Scott /Handout

Local health officials have taken , may issue orders under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Or eliminate the risk of contagious diseases.

"If there is a direction from the Ottawa Public Health Department, we will follow it, as will all other commissions," Scott said. "We need consistency across the city."

In a statement Tuesday, Ottawa Public Health said it had received and reviewed updated state guidance for the upcoming school year, "We are in the process of determining how updated guidance will change protocols that were put in place during the educational period," it said. last school year. ''

In his COVID-19 snapshot from Ottawa released last Thursday, levels of the virus in wastewater have declined but are still very high and the community Infection was also shown to be high in Positive test rates were very high and increasing, and the number of hospitalizations with COVID-19 was moderately declining. The newly confirmed outbreak is moderate and declining, OPH said. does not take a position on transformation.

OPH recommends staying up to date on COVID-19 immunizations, wearing masks, strengthening, staying home when sick, and maintaining daily screenings to prevent infection. We continue to recommend using multiple layers of protection to help

“State guidance continues to urge COVID-19 contacts to wear a mask and avoid COVID-19 in public places, including schools, for 10 days after last contact. Individuals who test positive for 19 must wear a mask, meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation after 5 days, and wear a mask in public for 10 days after the onset of symptoms.

The state also recommends that schools and school boards continue to monitor absenteeism and notify public health departments if absenteeism exceeds normal levels.

Trustee may change their minds about holding a special meeting on masking, Mr Scott said.

It may continue to be raised at the next regular board meeting, and it would be good to have it in place for the new school year.

``Children are creatures of habit.

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