FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa and the Rideau Students' Union are urging School Board Trustees of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) to support a motion from Trustee Mark Fisher to re-implement masking requirements in schools in light of the significant increase in COVID-19 cases which has led to a high number of staff absences and class closures.
The motion also reflects recent comments from Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer, Vera Etches, who seems to have changed her stance on masking requirements in schools, calling it an “important way to fight the new wave of COVID-19 infection.”
“Our kids, parents and teachers are getting sick and it is pretty clear why that is.” said Sam Hersh, Board Member of Horizon Ottawa. “The numbers don’t lie, we need to bring back measures that will help quell this most recent rise in infections.”
A similar motion was proposed at the OCDSB meeting of trustees in March by Trustee Justine Bell when the mandate was initially dropped by the provincial government. However, the vote on the motion tied and the mask mandate was not implemented. At that time, Ottawa Public Health had not made recommendations to keep masking requirements despite other medical experts like Peter Juni, scientific director of Ontario’s Science Advisory Table, urging them to do so.
“A lack of consistent guidelines and a continuous failure of political leadership has led us down this path” said Hersh. “We urge all OCDSB trustees to reverse this trend, protect our schools and vote in favour of Trustee Fisher’s motion today.”
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