The new school year will be starting for most students in September but there has been some concerns around sending kids back to school with an ongoing pandemic.
Medical Officer of Health Natalie Casaclang from the Northern Health Region spoke to Arctic Radio to address these concerns and to provide safety tips for students.
She says that schools are doing a lot of planning and preparation to prevent COVID 19 from coming into the schools including staff screening, hand washing, and physical distancing.
She added that wearing a mask should not take the place of physical distancing and hand washing. Parents that want their children to wear masks at school are encouraged to have their children practice wearing a mask at home first so they can get a feel for wearing one.
It’s also important that children refrain from sharing food and drinks with their classmates to prevent the spread of germs and to stay home if they have symptoms of COVID 19.
Casaclang also recommends that students get their annual flu shots as well to reduce the chance of student absence.
Parents and caregivers should find out the specific plans that the school their child attends has put in place and become familiar with the plan and adhering to it as much as possible is an important step.
She also recommends talking to children about how they can expect the school year to be this year and to address concerns that their children may have as well.