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Ottawa-Carleton School Board to discuss mask mandate

by The Canadian Parvasi

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) is scheduled to host a special meeting to discuss a temporary mask mandate amid the flu epidemic and healthcare crisis.

Dr Nili Kaplan-Myrth, a trustee of the board, motioned for mandatory masking in schools during all activities except sports or the performing arts.

The motion comes as Canada’s healthcare struggles with a healthcare crisis due to the extreme influx in levels of RSV, Flu, and Covid-19. Reports also suggest that children and early teenagers are the worst affected by the epidemic.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, alongside other top doctors, has also reiterated the need to mask up indoors and be up to date on vaccines.

it is pertinent to note that Ontario’s Ministry of Health states that only the Chief Medical Officer of Health or the Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has the power to enforce a mask mandate, not a school board.

Lyra Evans, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) chair, however, seemed to refute the claims stating that the school board does have the legal authority to enforce a mask mandate.

Ottawa Public Health, while lauding the school board’s initiative to mask up indoors, stated that the health unit has no intention to enforce a local mask mandate.

“Given the province-wide challenge and benefits of a consistent approach, the province is in the best position to implement a mask mandate effectively,” said OPH in a statement.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board, on the other hand, stated that while the board encourages wearing masks indoors, it cannot enforce a mandate without any “health-related legislation or orders.”

Dr Kieran MooreOTTAWAOttawa Public HealthOttawa-Carleton District School Board