Today I have released the following statement on support for regional reopening of schools and shared it with Premier Ford and our local MPPs.
I stand with medical professionals across the province in calling for the safe reopening of schools, including members of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, Medical Officers of Health and other medical professionals, school boards, parents and students in my community.
The COVID-19 Science Advisory Table wrote to the premier on the weekend advocating for a regional approach to reopening, in consultation with local medical officers of health and school boards, adding that school closures create significant mental and physical harms to children and that the risk of increased cases of COVID-19 is small.
A group of 11 hospitals and medical agencies wrote to the premier Sat. May 29 providing their advice on whether schools should open. The letter was a joint response from the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) – Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre, the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Children’s Mental Health Ontario, the McMaster Children’s Hospital, the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Children’s Hospital – London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), the Ontario Medical Association, Empowered Kids Ontario, the Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario, and the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (on behalf of all Medical Officers of Health).
The letter states that “Schools can re-open safely on a regional basis, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the local Medical Officers of Health, School Districts and health system partners. Schools that re-open should maintain their public health measures vigorously and build on the strategies they have already deployed to limit spread.”
Our local Medical Officer of Health at Halton Region, and our school board support the approach outlined in the letter. I add my voice to those calling on the Premier to re-open schools safely on a regional basis to mitigate the significant short and long-term harms arising from school closures, while managing the risk of virus transmission in this sector.
PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.
A consolidated page for information and updates on the work of the provincial Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is available at bit.ly/COVIDVaccineUpdates.
Halton Region has also created a dedicated COVID-19 Vaccine webpage at halton.ca/covidvaccines for up to date information on the status of our COVID19 vaccination program.
A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.
To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.
HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:
- Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at email@example.com or online.
- Halton Region has created a Reopening Schools resource webpage for parents, students and teachers at halton.ca/covid19.
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or 905-335-7738
- City of Burlington: www.burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Resources for Residents & Non-Profit Organizations: www.burlington.ca/covid19resources.
- Halton Region: www.halton.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Provincial Emergency Orders: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052
- Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Team Burlington Business Supports: burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
- Burlington Food Bank: call 905-637-CARE (2273), or visit burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Food for Life: call 905-635-1106 and press 7, or visit foodforlife.ca
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Branch: call 289-291-5396, or visit halton.cmha.ca