Parents asked to say no to gatherings as cases rise

·2 min read

Parents across Chatham-Kent are encouraged to say ‘no’ when their children ask to hang out with friends.

According to John Howitt, Director of Education with the Lambton Kent District School Board, we must remain vigilant.

“It’s important that we recognize the light at the end of the tunnel, but understand there’s still distance in the tunnel before you get to that light. We have got to stay vigilant,” said Howitt.

The Director of Education said he is worried COVID fatigue is hitting a point where those in the community are coming to points where they’re not willing to say no to their children around participation in events or gatherings, or activities.

Howitt said the choices made have a large impact. He asked parents to consider if invitations for events are worth following through and potentially impacting dozens of families.

“Is this gathering worth following through on and impacting a couple of hundred other families?” Howitt asked. “Because it is a simple choice that has a very strong impact on others, as we see in some of our schools.”

On March 11, CK Public Health reported seven new cases and one recovery, raising the active total to 46. A week ago, the active total was at 11.

Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, agreed community help is needed to keep students and staff members safe. He attributes the increase to indoor gatherings, which are against public health advice.

“If one person who is contagious shows up at those gatherings, the indoor environment and lack of physical distancing that is inherent in all kinds of social interactions will ensure,” said Colby.

He added the increase in cases is spreading by people ignoring public-health advice and spreading into the schools that require action to deal with them.

Deb Crawford, Director of Education with the St. Clair Catholic District School Board, said the schools are not seeing the transfer of the virus within the schools. Adding this confirms it is coming from other areas of the community.

“We would really ask parents to make those good choices because the schools are really trying to keep everyone safe,” said Crawford.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News