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Kindergarten masking now optional at UCDSB schools

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The youngest students in the Upper Canada District School Board won’t need to wear masks at school anymore.

At this week’s Board of Trustees meeting, the board voted to make masking optional for Kindergarten students for the first time since November. As of February 24th, kids in both junior and senior Kindergarten are allowed to go to school without masks. Students in grades one and above still need to wear their masks while at school.  

The decision was made after a presentation from Dr. Paul Roumeliotis and Dr. Paula Stewart, the Medical Officers of Health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. 

Roumeliotis says the decision to keep mandates in place for older students comes from the Ministry of Health’s data. “We know that the masks are more effective in older children,” he says, “and we do know that the older children are the ones that have higher positivity, so we want to protect them at this point.”

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However, he also says he thinks mask mandates for older students may also be lifted in the next few weeks. “I think it’s too early to do it right now,” Roumeliotis says, “but I do think that at some point between now and March, there will be a decision made, in the middle of March some time, to be able to say when the masks will go.”

Masking for kindergarten students wasn’t required at the beginning of the school year, but was made mandatory in early November to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

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