Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association calls for reinstatement of mask mandate
TORONTO – COVID-19 Update – The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) released the following statement from President Barb Dobrowolski, calling on Ontarians to join OECTA in demanding that the Ford government immediately reinstate the masking mandate in Ontario schools. Ontario:
“Students, families, teachers and education workers – everyone – we all want students to be in school, safely enjoying the benefits of in-person learning. What our students and our communities cannot bear is more stress and anxiety due to insufficient safety measures, school closures and sudden disruptions to the learning environment.
To make our schools safe and keep them open, Catholic teachers are calling on the Ford government to immediately reinstate mask wearing in Ontario schools.
The Ford government has gone to great lengths to conceal the extent of the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and communities, but the facts speak for themselves.
COVID-19 is not over. Absences of teachers and education workers related to COVID-19 are not being filled at an unprecedented rate. The number of children admitted to hospitals with symptoms of COVID-19 is on the rise. According to data from Ontario’s Science Advisory Table on COVID-19, the number of cases is skyrocketing, with COVID-19 sewage measurements indicating the province is now seeing more than 100,000 cases a day.
All the while, the chief medical officer of health hasn’t made a public appearance in weeks, and members of the Ford government seem more focused on their re-election campaigns than protecting the health and safety of Ontarians. .
The Association warned the Ford government that it was premature to drop the masking requirement after the March break, as the break has generally been associated with increased travel, gatherings and, therefore, transmission viral. Doug Ford refused to listen. Just as he refused to listen to public health and education experts throughout the pandemic, repeatedly failing to implement robust testing and improved ventilation in schools, despite promises to do, then going so far as to suspend COVID-19 tracking in schools to hide its failures.
Schools are the largest daily gathering places in Ontario, and masking remains one of the most effective proactive and protective measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities and classrooms. For the safety and well-being of our children, it is imperative that the Ford government follow the science, abandon political posturing, and immediately reinstate the masking mandate for all who work and learn in schools. Ontario students have suffered enough already.
Source: Ontario Catholic Teachers’ Association