Bring Mask Mandate Back to Ontario Schools, Catholic Teachers Push Ford Government

Bestinau got that-

Ontario’s third-largest teachers’ union is calling on the Ford government to reintroduce mandatory masking in schools, saying it’s necessary to prevent schools from closing due to teacher absences and rising student cases.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) says it is asking the province to reverse its decision to end masking in all schools on March 21 as teacher and student absences due to COVID-19 19 “whiplash disturbances in the learning environment”.

“COVID-19 is not over yet. The absences of teachers and teaching staff related to COVID-19 are going unfulfilled at an unprecedented rate,” OECTA President Barb Dobrowolski said Friday.

“The number of children admitted to hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 is rising. According to data from the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, cases are skyrocketing, with COVID-19 wastewater measurements indicating the province is now seeing more than 100,000 cases per day.”

Dobrowolski says the union told the Ford government that the March 21 date for ending mandatory masking was too early, especially because of the potential aggravating effects of international travel and private gatherings taking place during the March break.

The county doesn’t report how many teachers and staff contract COVID-19, as it did in 2020 and 2021. It also doesn’t require public health units to stop classes in the event of exposure or even notify parents of exposures in all cases.

Instead, it publishes absenteeism rates for all schools, although not all schools submit data every day.

On Thursday, the Toronto Catholic District School Board reported an absenteeism rate of 10.2 percent among the schools that reported, while the Toronto District School Board reported an absenteeism rate of 14.7 percent.

The Toronto Catholic District Board is one of the few boards to continue to document all cases, primarily through voluntary rapid antigen testing at home.

It reported 105 new cases of COVID-19 in its schools on Thursday, up from 100 a week earlier and 36 two weeks earlier.

A single Catholic primary school in Port Union has reported more than 100 cases in the past two weeks and is not required to close under current rules.

A school administrator in London, Ont. said her plate must be full 400 absences per day, mainly due to COVID-19.

That board, the Thames Valley District School Board, said two of its schools would close Friday and return to virtual learning due to “staffing problems.”

For its part, the Ford administration has said it wants people to have a choice of whether to wear a mask or not, and Prime Minister Doug Ford dismissed the recent continued increase in the transmission of COVID-19 across the province as “a minor spike.” ”.

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