What you need to know about public health measures at P.E.I. schools

·2 min read
No timeline has been set for the lifting of the elevated risk level for all Island schools. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
No timeline has been set for the lifting of the elevated risk level for all Island schools. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

In light of an COVID-19 outbreak at a Charlottetown school, public schools across Prince Edward Island have entered an elevated risk scenario that tightens up public health guidelines.

For parents, students and staff this means more cleaning, mask measures and a few extra protocols in place similar to the protocols in place in the spring, according to Norbert Carpenter, the director of the Public Schools Branch.

The Public Schools Branch says mask guidelines will be strictly enforced and masks will be required in most situations while in school.

Here is what you need to know about public health measures in place at P.E.I. schools.

Masking

  • Mandatory for all students on school buses.

  • Mandatory for staff in classrooms in Grades K-6 when physical distancing is not possible.

  • Mandatory for staff, students and visitors at all times in Grades 7-12 when physical distancing isn't possible.

  • Mandatory for staff, students, and visitors in all grades when transitioning through school buildings.

Cohorting

  • May be required in Grades K-6, for both staff and students during classroom learning, recess and breaks.

  • Not required in Grades 7-12 unless the school population is small enough that it can be effectively implemented.

  • Visitors should be limited to essential activities for supporting learning.

Physical distancing

  • Physical distancing may be recommended in Grades 7-12, including, but not limited to, classroom desk configuration, locker/cubby access, cafeterias and flow control in hallways and stairwells.

  • Physical distancing may be recommended for staff areas.

Wash hands frequently, enhanced school cleaning

  • Frequent hand washing or using hand sanitizer is encouraged throughout the day.

  • Handwashing supplies and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 per cent alcohol should be made available throughout the school.

  • Higher amount of cleaning and disinfection for frequently touched surfaces, particularly between cohorts or where no cohorting is possible.

Vaccination

  • Currently not mandatory for students, teachers and staff.

  • Government discussing mandatory vaccinations for teachers and staff this week.

  • When vaccine is approved for 5-12-year-olds everyone who is able will be encouraged to get fully vaccinated.

At-home screening

  • Stay home if you're sick

  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

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