An emergency room physician says he's confident the province's school system has the proper protocols in place to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
In an interview with CBC News: Compass, Dr. Trevor Jain said that parents who are nervous about sending their children back to school should look at how the pandemic has been handled so far by the province.
"The Department of Education, the administrators, the teachers on the Island from tip to tip have done a fantastic job. Our pediatric population, our students and our youth were able to attend class last year and the protocols they put in place worked. So is there no risk? No, we can't say that there's zero risk, but children need to be in school," he said.
"I would want to reassure parents, you know, the best predictor of a future is what happened in the past. And if you look at the protocols and processes put in place during last year, I'm happy that my children are back in school and I'm confident that the education system has got protocols in place for this virus."
E.R. staffing shortages
Jain also commented on health-care staffing shortages this summer, saying they've led to wait time increases at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
"We had significant wait times in the emergency department, not only in our department, but with our partners at Prince County Hospital as well. The system felt it for sure," he said. "We also experienced some offload delays, fire or EMS or paramedics, which was concerning. It's happened before, but it was quite significant this summer."
But Jain said there are signs the situation will improve soon.
"I am cautiously optimistic," he said. "We'll have to wait and see what happens the next few weeks."