Friday, December 2, 2022
Home Covid-19 COVID-19: Edmonton, Calgary school boards weigh in on Kenney dropping mask mandate...

COVID-19: Edmonton, Calgary school boards weigh in on Kenney dropping mask mandate for kids

Reaction came in strong from Alberta school districts after Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday that his government was lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Mandatory masks for kids 12 and under will end on Feb. 13 at 11:59 p.m., he said at a press conference. For children and youths of all ages, wearing masks will no longer be required at schools.

Read more:

COVID-19: Kenney announces Alberta vaccine passport program ending at midnight

In a letter to school authorities, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange outlined the impact that relaxing COVID-19 restrictions will have on schools and students.

“I have been encouraged to see a downward trend in the number of Alberta schools shifted to at-home learning over the last few weeks,” she said.

“At the peak of the fifth wave, there were 29 schools that were shifted to at-home learning, and today, only seven of the over 2,500-plus schools in our province remain learning at home.”

Story continues below advertisement

LaGrange said the masking requirement that will be removed effective Feb. 14 will apply to any students in schools or on school buses. Masking will still be required for adult staff and drivers.

“At this time, prevention measures, including cohorting, as well as enhanced cleaning and sanitization, will remain in school environments,” she said.

Read more:

COVID-19: Alberta doctors, mayors react to Kenney removing vaccine passport, restrictions

The Calgary Board of Education told parents Tuesday night: “We know families have many questions about this announcement and what it means for their child. In the next few days, we will review our health measures in view of these changes.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Calgary Catholic School District said all health measures in its buildings will stay in place until further notice.

CCSD spokesperson Felicia Zuniga said the senior administrative team will be working on “a plan of action” in response to the province’s announcement.

Read more:

Decision on Alberta’s vaccine passport expected this week as province records 39 COVID-19 deaths Monday

In a series of tweets, Edmonton Public School Board chair Trisha Estabrooks said the province’s announcement came as a surprise to the district.

“School divisions were not consulted on this shift,” she wrote. “If we were, EPSB would have shared the desire to move slowly, to listen to parents, to listen to boards.”

Story continues below advertisement

However, she emphasized school divisions have no authority to require mandatory masking.

“I know this will deeply upset many,” Estabrooks wrote.

“With low vaccination rates in kids age five to 11, this definitely feels like we are taking away a key layer in the approach to keep students and staff as safe as possible.”


Click to play video: 'Alberta expands COVID-19 vaccination eligibility for youth'







Alberta expands COVID-19 vaccination eligibility for youth


Alberta expands COVID-19 vaccination eligibility for youth

Global News has reached out to Edmonton Catholic School Division.

Support Our Students Alberta tweeted the changes Kenney announced are “unarguably reckless and illogical.”

“Once again, the UCP prioritizes politics over the health and safety of students,” the group said.

“To abruptly remove masks from schools on short notice, without school board consultation, risks throwing schools into chaos yet again.”

Story continues below advertisement

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Most Popular

Police seek to identify man after suspicious incident reported at Toronto school

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a man wanted in connection with a suspicious incident in Toronto. Toronto police said on Nov. 29,...

Police warn about release of convicted sex offender expected to live in Winnipeg

Police are warning the public about a convicted sex offender considered a high risk to reoffend expected to live in Winnipeg following a nearly...

Montreal’s suburbs ‘disgusted’ with municipal budget

Montreal’s demerged city mayors say they are once again facing an increase in taxes and must pay for services they aren’t necessarily getting. The 15...

Beck Taxi suing City of Toronto, says the City allows ‘untrained commercial drivers to fill our streets’

Beck Taxi says it is suing the City of Toronto, claiming the City has allowed “thousands of untrained commercial drivers to fill our streets”...