ONTARIO: resumption of extracurricular activities, no masks outside in the back-to-school plan

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Plan emphasizes outdoor activities – allowing children to play during recess with friends from other classes – and again allowing sharing of materials, such as toys in kindergarten

TORONTO – Ontario students who return to school next month will be able to play on sports teams, use instruments in music lessons, go on field trips and throw masks outside.

The government today released its back-to-school plan, which includes the resumption of extracurricular activities, relaxed rules on the use of shared spaces such as libraries and cafeterias, and continues to require masks indoors for students of 1st year and above.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce will not be available to answer questions about the plan until Wednesday, when he is set to announce an additional $ 25 million in ventilation funding for stand-alone HEPA filter units.

Schools with mechanical ventilation should use the highest quality filters possible and turn on their systems at least two hours before school starts, and schools without them should have stand-alone HEPA filter units in all rooms. class.

The plan emphasizes outdoor activities – allowing children to play during recess with friends from other classes – and again allowing materials to be shared, like toys in kindergarten.

Students will be present in person for full days, five days a week, unless they have opted for distance learning.

Schools will primarily rely on families to screen for symptoms of COVID-19 at home, but may need to confirm screening on site during times when transmission may be higher, such as after a vacation. Rules about when students should stay home haven’t been updated yet, but they are expected to change before September.

The plan says protocols can be canceled over time, depending on vaccination rates, but does not make injections mandatory for staff or students.

More soon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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