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TLDSB hopes to give parents peace of mind as health measures ease in Ontario

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: While the provincial government starts to lift COVID-19 related public health measures, the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) wants people to feel confident in the safety of their children.

“We have some challenges ahead. There’s no doubt about it. There’s still a lot of anxious feelings in the system,” Director of Education Wes Hahn told trustees, at a meeting on Tuesday, March 22nd.

The province recently lifted the mask mandate for several settings, including schools. The TLDSB supports people’s choices on whether to keep wearing a mask or not.

“We’ve made this very clear this is a choice for our parents and our staff and our students,” Director Hahn said.

He added, the goal is for everyone to feel “welcome, whatever decision they make within our buildings.”

But the board will continue with some other health-related initiatives or practices in schools.

“We are still continuing on with what we had before, like hand hygiene etiquette. That’s not going to go away. That is still going to be encouraged. We still have enhanced cleaning and disinfecting going on in our schools. We have the continued use of the Hepa filters. They haven’t all of a sudden disappeared. That is a mainstay in our facilities,” Director Hahn explained.

He added, the board would continue to report absences to the Ministry of Education, and the use of rapid antigen tests will also be maintained.

“Vaccinations are still being encouraged by our public health [unit],” Director Hahn stated.

The education director said he hopes these measures are “making people feel less anxious [about] coming back into the schools.”

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