Health Unit Releases Safe Return To School Toolkit

Wednesday August 12th, 2020

Posted at 9:28pm

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The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has released their Safe Return to School – A Public Health Toolkit for Windsor and Essex County.

“Since we are the last region to move forward, we will have fewer weeks’ worth of information to build on, less time to ensure case counts remain low, and greater urgency to get the plan right. It is therefore critical that there be a safe plan in place to enable our children and all of those who support them in our schools to return to classrooms. As a member of this community and a parent of two kids returning to the classroom, safe reopening of our schools is personally important for me as well,” says Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health.

The following key recommendations have been developed make the return to school safe and healthy for everyone.

That the public health measures we have demonstrated are effective be maintained in our schools including:

  • Maintaining physical distancing wherever possible, at least 2 meters for classroom activities
  • Providing instruction and frequent opportunities for staff, teachers, and children to clean their hands.
  • Encouraging the use of masks or face coverings in all indoor spaces (with appropriate exceptions), even where it might not be mandatory, and providing education to staff and students about how to wear and maintain masks.

Safer options for transportation to and from school include:

  • Appropriate physical distancing measures on school busses, limiting students to one student or household per seat or those that are part of the child’s social circle.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for bus drivers and monitors.
  • Encouraging masks or face coverings for all students using the bus.
  • Safely distanced walking routes that consider traffic, crossings, and staggered arrival times for students.
  • Drop off zones for students to safely exit vehicles and move into schools without congregating.

Cleaning in schools continue to be top of mind and in line with best-practice recommendations from WECHU including:

  • Regular cleaning of high touch surfaces.
  • Enabling students to clean their physical environment and teaching them about doing so.
  • Cleaning of classrooms, equipment, and spaces between uses.

You can read the full 41 page plan here.

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