Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ranade has issued the following statement:
“As the start of a new school year begins this week, I wanted to take the opportunity to provide an update on what students, teachers, staff and families can expect for the year ahead.
“The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, including children. Kids need to be able to socialize, learn, play and interact with their peers in order to get the most out of their learning environment – both in school and in early learning and child care programs, which stay open year-round. It is more important than ever for students to return to a near normal school routine to support their mental health and wellbeing.
“This means that masking and physical distancing are no longer required in schools or early learning and child care centres. Good hand and respiratory hygiene, regular cleaning and disinfection, and staying home when sick continue to play an important role in keeping these spaces safe.
“Parents and caregivers should use common sense to determine whether a child is well enough attend school, early learning and child care programs or other activities. Children who are ill, regardless of symptoms, should stay home to rest and recover and avoid infecting others. Observe and talk to your child frequently to see if they have new or worsening symptoms.
“As we shift from the acute stage of the pandemic to learning to live with COVID-19, we have the opportunity to make decisions based on our personal risk. The decision to wear a mask at school, on the bus or in any public setting, is a personal one. Students, teachers and staff should consider their personal risk and take steps to protect themselves. I encourage everyone to respect each other’s personal prevention measures.
“Vaccination remains the best way to protect against severe outcomes from COVID-19. I encourage all Yukoners aged six months and over to stay up to date with their vaccines. COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be booked online or by contacting your local health centre.
“I will continue to work closely with the Department of Education and Yukon Communicable Disease Control to closely monitor the impacts of COVID-19, and other communicable diseases, and update recommendations and guidance as needed.
“Each community and place of learning is unique. By working together we can support the best interests of our children, schools and communities.”
Communications, Health and Social Services