PVSD requires masks to age 12
August 30, 2021, 1:28 pm
“Throughout the current pandemic, Prairie Valley School Division has been guided by advice from local medical health officers. This has been a strong and effective relationship, one that has kept our students and staff safe. Covid-19 infection rates in our schools have been well below that seen in the wider community,” Luc Lerminiaux, Director Prairie Valley School Division said. PVSD includes schools in Kipling, Kennedy, and Whitewood.
“In early August, we issued a statement reconfirming our position that measures required to reduce the risk of Covid transmission at the start of the new school year would be based on their advice. That advice arrived on August 13 in the form of a document from local public health officers. On August 20, the government of Saskatchewan released the 2021-22 Safe Schools Plan to provide general recommendations for the entire province. Within it, they encourage school divisions to work with their local medical health officers to provide locally tailored approaches.
“We would have liked to begin the school year with few or no restrictions and we are returning to many pre-pandemic programming and activities including extra-curricular. To ensure the safety of students and staff, it is prudent and reasonable to continue the following measures that were proven effective last year to limit transmission of the virus:
• Masking will be mandatory for all students under the age of 12 (born in 2010 or later), and for everyone in classrooms where students under that age are present. In all classes conducted indoors, teachers will have the discretion to allow “mask breaks” when it is safe to do so.
• For students 12 and older, masking is strongly recommended in classrooms.
• Masking will be mandatory in hallways and common areas for all students.
• Masking will be mandatory on all school busses. Drivers will continue maintaining a seating plan and will clean busses at the end of the day.
• Masking will not be mandatory outdoors on school grounds.
Lerminiaux said the plans will change if the situation with Covid-19 changes.
“We are in constant communications with local public health officials and these measures will be adjusted, based on their latest advice,” he said.
“Arriving at this plan required much discussion and soul searching. We recognize these measures will not satisfy everyone. However, we have a strong moral obligation to protect those who have not yet been vaccinated because they are not yet eligible.
“And once again, we would also encourage anyone who is eligible and has not yet done so to be vaccinated as soon as possible. This is a safe and effective way to control the spread of Covid-19 and reduce the seriousness of symptoms for those who become infected.”