Ottawa’s largest school board to resurrect mask mandate amid 6th wave

Ottawa’s largest college board is transferring to once more require college students and workers to put on masks amid a sixth wave of COVID-19, after the measure was dropped by the provincial authorities on March 21.

Eight trustees with the Ottawa-Carleton District Faculty Board (OCDSB) voted in favour of a movement by River/Gloucester-Southgate trustee Mark Fisher, whereas one trustee opposed the transfer and three abstained. 

“We cannot decide and select when security is vital,” Fisher stated in defending his movement on Tuesday evening.

The vote got here three weeks after the province lifted most masks mandates, however amid a resurgence of COVID-19 in Ottawa. 

The town has lately set information for the quantity of coronavirus noticed in native wastewater. In an announcement to CBC Information earlier this week, Ottawa Public Well being stated it strongly recommends folks masks up indoors and helps measures to extend masks use.

“I believe the scenario in Ottawa during the last couple of weeks has modified significantly,” Fisher stated. 

The varsity board, which represents over 70,000 elementary and highschool college students, had 113 self-reported COVID-19 instances amongst workers and college students as of Tuesday, based on Brett Reynolds, the board’s affiliate director of training. 

A number of trustees spoke of courses or colleges being closed of their zones. 

CHEO, Jap Ontario’s youngsters’s hospital in Ottawa, had 5 sufferers with COVID-19 as of late Monday, all of whom have been admitted for causes aside from COVID-19.

Barrhaven/Knoxdale-Merivale trustee Donna Blackburn voted in opposition to Fisher’s movement and stated masking is not required in lots of different elements of society. 

“I refuse to present folks a false sense of safety,” she stated of imposing masks in colleges. 

“I believe placing this in place will trigger extra folks to put on masks,” countered Rideau-Vanier/Capital trustee Lyra Evans, who voted in favour of the movement. 

Precisely how rapidly the transfer will take impact is unclear, as Fisher’s movement didn’t embrace a begin date.

A spokesperson for the board stated after the assembly that workers are growing an implementation plan and “will present further clarification shortly.”

Earlier bid to retain masks failed

Tuesday evening’s assembly marked the second time in current weeks that masking was entrance and centre at an OCDSB assembly.  

Earlier than the province lifted masks mandates on March 21, trustees thought-about extending necessary masking till April 8 for kindergarten to Grade 12 however finally did not have the votes to defy the province.

The March 14 movement did not go in a tie vote, with six opposed and 6 in favour.

Premier Doug Ford has spoken out in opposition to college boards wishing to go their very own manner on masking. 

“The chief medical officer is the knowledgeable,” Ford stated final month, including that Dr. Kieran Moore did his “due diligence” in ending the masks mandate.

“Observe the path of the chief medical officer, plain and easy. That is what we count on and hopefully they do this.”

Ottawa Centre NDP MPP Joel Harden has known as on Ford’s authorities to reinstate masking, citing Ottawa’s current wastewater knowledge. 


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