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Schools opening in September

Students will still be wearing masks

By Courtney Bachar

Kids will be going back to school in September.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, says this is “great news” for kids.

The province released the back to school plan Tuesday. With this plan, kids will be able to get back to activities such as music, theatre and sports.

“This is crucially important to their mental, physical and social wellbeing,” says Moore, noting, it’s also important to do so “cautiously and carefully.”

This means some public health measures will still be in place, including students in Grades 1 to 12 having to wear masks while indoors.

Masking for Kindergarten students will be encouraged but not required in indoor spaces.

“Our goal is having a safe reopening of schools that lasts the entire year,” Moore continues.

Moore says the high vaccination rates across the province will aid in helping keep schools safe and open.

Remote learning will also continue to be an option this year for students and families.

He says schools are safest where we maintain high rates of community immunity, high testing, good case and contact management, and high immunization rates.

“Our goal is to have a safe reopening of our schools that last the entire academic year,” says Moore.

He says having measures in place means that kids get back to class, go on field trips, and socially interact with their friends with confidence.

“These measures will help us to ensure we have a safe and sustained reopening of our schools in the fall.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 3, more than 19-and-a-half million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario, which means Ontario has surpassed its target of having 80 per cent of Ontarians age 12 and older vaccinated with one dose.

The first dose percentage is now 85 per cent, says Moore, noting the province is just over five per cent away from meeting the second dose target of 75 per cent at a provincial level.

In Durham, as of Aug. 2, 889,118 total doses of COVID-19 vaccine has been administered.

The total number of Durham residents who have received at least one dose is 492,092, which equates to 66.7 per cent.

In total, 432,742, or 58.6 per cent, Durham residents are fully vaccinated.