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As parents prepare for back-to-school, public health urges conversations with kids about the importance of wearing a mask

Students in grades 4 to 12 are required to wear a mask, while younger students will be encouraged
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It is back to school in September, and the class setting will look different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

While masks are required for students in grades 4 to 12, younger students will be encouraged to wear a face covering, but not required. 

The region's Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Julie Emili said parents should have conversations with their children to make them aware of the importance of wear a mask. 

"We recognize that young kids are going to be taking it off, or they don't understand they have to wear it all the time, so it's really about the parent assessing with their child if they're able to do this." 

If a student is presenting symptoms of any illness, public health is planning to err on the side of caution and make sure the child does not have COVID-19. 

"For most parents, if your kid is experiencing any out of the ordinary symptoms that aren't part of allergies, or anything else, we have to consider if it's COVID-19 and if they'll have to get tested," said Dr. Emili. 

She added Ontario is conducting a balanced school reopening approach, which is encouraging mental health, well-being, and development, while at the same time allow students to go into a safe school environment. 


Tim Herd

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