School boards grapple with mask rules; some seeking extensions beyond March 21


TORONTO — Ontario’s largest school board says it is seeking permission to keep COVID-19 safety protocols such as masks in schools longer than the end date of March 21 announced this week by the province.

The Toronto District School Board says trustees voted during a meeting last night to write a letter to the chief medical officer of health, the Ministry of Education, and Toronto Public Health to request additional time for removing public health measures in TDSB schools.

A trustee for the Toronto Catholic District School Board says they voted to ask the ministry to let them keep mask rules in their schools for two weeks after March break, which begins Monday.

In Guelph, the Upper Grand District School Board says mandatory masking will end in its schools on March 21, as the board doesn’t have the authority to extend those rules after the province lifts mask requirements.

Ontario announced this week that on March 21, masking requirements in most settings will be removed – including in schools and child-care settings.

A coalition of children’s hospitals had urged the province to keep masks in schools for at least two weeks after March break, saying that public health measures are what have kept schools open.



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