Parents concerned about Newfoundland and Labrador’s upcoming school year

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The province’s plan for the upcoming school year has caused some concerns for local parents. Shelley Dalton from St. John is a parent worried about what may happen if another COVID-19 outbreak happens. Although she is relieved that students are heading back to school full-time in September, she’s alarmed by other aspects of the provincial government and school boards’ plan.

Shelley Dalton said:

“My major concern is that I don’t see the plan as a plan, really. To me, it’s more like a huge leap of faith that the pandemic is over and that things will now continue on as they did in 2019.”

The province’s back-to-school plan was announced on Thursday. It includes distinct procedures for “low-risk” and “high-risk” scenarios of COVID-19 community transmission. This means that if the number of infected is low, students in Newfoundland and Labrador will adhere to the low-risk guidelines this September. If the number of infected rises drastically, “high-risk” scenarios will be implemented.

Dalton is worried that these “high-risk” scenarios won’t be enough. She said:

“[The plan] seems to rely almost entirely on vaccinations protecting us, without even really requiring vaccination in education settings. And when I look at what’s happening in other places in Canada and the United States, I’m fearful it’s not going to be enough.”

“I think that most of the kids absolutely will not wear the masks unless they’re required. My child included will happily ditch the mask ASAP. And, you know, even if kids want to wear the masks, they may feel they’re being shunned or discriminated against because they are wearing a mask,” Dalton concluded.

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