Toronto students protest the end of compulsory masks in schools – Toronto

Toronto high school students marched outside to protest the provincial government’s decision to end mandatory masking in most public areas, including schools.

Mask mandates were lifted across Ontario on Monday, along with the requirement for cohorting in schools. Masks are still mandatory in some areas, including on public transport and in long-term care facilities.

According to Ontario Students For COVID Safety, a network of high school students, students from 11 separate high schools in Toronto took part in the protest.

“Schools are a busy space, schools are a vulnerable space, they are an essential service,” said Sophia Alexanian, one of the group’s founders. “It is important that everyone still wears their mask”

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The decision to lift the mask mandate in schools was made by Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

He said the move would align “measures in schools” with the general community.

The Children’s Health Coalition, a collective of children’s health organizations in Ontario, including the Hospital for Sick Children, said they would have preferred to wait until two weeks after the March break.

“We’re not quite there yet and we ask everyone to continue to be mindful of those around them and their needs and choices when it comes to masks,” the statement said.

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Cancellation of mask mandates in Ontario schools is met with mixed reactions

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) initially asked the county to delay plans to lift the mask mandate in classrooms. The council was concerned about the low vaccination coverage for children aged five to eleven.

The county did not grant the request.

TDSB said in a March 17 press release that it would continue to encourage students and staff to wear masks.

“TDSB schools will continue to be mask-friendly environments,” the release reads.

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Ontario rejects TDSB’s request to spend more time lifting mask rules in schools

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Ontario Students For COVID Safety has asked to extend mask mandates in schools. It also requested access to PCR testing for students and staff.

“I feel a bit unsafe when people don’t wear masks,” Jason Duong, a 10th grade student, told Global News.

— With files from Global News’ Caryn Lieberman

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Ontario lifts mask mandates in schools

Ontario lifts mask mandates in schools – March 9, 2022

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