Local PHUs strongly encouraging masking for all students and staff in schools
April 13, 2022
Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,
In response to a surge in local COVID cases, all three public health units in our jurisdiction – Durham Region Health Department, Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit and Peterborough Public Health – are strongly encouraging all students and staff to wear well-fitting, three-layer masks while attending school.
Durham Region Health Department
“Due to the Omicron surges (BA.1.1 and BA.2 sub-variants), DRHD strongly recommends that students and staff continue to wear a well fitted three-layer mask in shared indoor spaces. Masking, coupled with other public health measures such as physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, and staying home when sick, continue to be effective strategies for reducing the spread of COVID-19,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Kyle.
Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
“We can help to reduce the impact of COVID-19 by wearing a mask in indoor settings. There is strong evidence that masking is an important layer of protection against COVID-19, especially for those who are not vaccinated (e.g., children under 5 yrs.), or are at risk of severe COVID-19 illness (e.g., immunocompromised and the elderly). Masks should be three-layered, well-fitted, cover the nose and mouth, and should be replaced if damp or visibly soiled,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr. Natalie Bocking.
Peterborough Public Health
Peterborough Public Health has recently launched a Local COVID-19 Community Risk Index, which helps residents protect themselves and others when local transmission levels are high.
The index is currently indicating a high risk in our community, including a very high case rate.
Therefore, Peterborough Public Health strongly recommends that residents currently wear masks for all interactions with people from outside their household and, as such, strongly recommends that all students and staff wear masks while attending school for the next two weeks.