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Parents Question Why They Aren’t Allowed To Enter Schools Due To COVID Safety Rules When Unvaccinated Can Enter For Community Vaccine Clinics

KAWARTHA LAKES-Some parents are questioning the logic behind keeping parents from entering schools due to COVID safety concerns when some of those same schools are holding community vaccination clinics and allowing unvaccinated people entry.

“The school board and daycare have a policy for no unvaccinated to be allowed in. Why does public health think it’s okay to for them bend the rules?” one parent told Kawartha 411 News.

In January, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health jointly announced that school board’s and health units would work together to host vaccination clinics for students, staff, and community members at schools across the province.

“This initiative would offer more opportunities for families to become vaccinated.” Sinead Fegan, Communications Officer, Trillium Lakelands District School Board told Kawartha 411 News.

Parents and nonessential visitors have not been allowed in local schools since the pandemic began. No Christmas concerts in the gym, no in-person parent-teacher interviews and no speaking with anyone in the office in person because according to officials it is not “safe”.

“During COVID-19, the Ontario government has recommended that only essential visitors attend the school during school hours. Ultimately, each school and school board will make their own determination as to whom can access a school site during instructional hours.” Bill Eeekhof, Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit told Kawartha 411 News.

The Trillium Lakelands District School Board website states:

“Until further notice, parents/guardians will not be permitted to enter the school building during the day or after school hours, unless there is an emergency.”

“Parents/guardians who need to speak to a member of the school staff or require access to their child’s belongings must first contact the school office or their child’s teacher by email or telephone.”

Some local elementary schools are hosting vaccine clinics this week for students as well as the community. Residents wanting 1st,2nd or 3rd dose are allowed and encouraged to attend the community clinics inside these schools.

“The Health Unit is organizing COVID-19 vaccination clinics for the public at four elementary schools in areas where there has been lower vaccine uptake and access to vaccine clinics may be a challenge. These clinics – set for Plainville Public School, Grandview Public School, Lady Eaton Elementary School, and Cardiff Elementary School – are being held after school (4-5 pm) and will be open to anyone eligible for a vaccine.” stated Eekhof.  

The health unit says it understands parents concerns but says all COVID-19 precautions are in place.

“The clinics are taking place after school is over. In schools with child-care settings, the clinics are being held in larger spaces (like gyms) that are separated from the child-care setting. This ensures that the paths of children in care and people accessing the clinics will not cross.” Eekhof explains “As with any Health Unit vaccination clinic, anyone entering to get a vaccine will also need to pass a screening checklist and will be required to wear a medical mask. If they do not have one, a mask will be provided to them.”

Proper cleaning and disinfecting will also be done before, during and after the public clinics according to the health unit.

“Rest assured, all precautions are being made to reduce the risk of COVID-19.while also getting more needles into arms to provide further protection against the virus.”


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Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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