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Hundreds Of Ontario Doctors Have Signed An Open Letter Asking Ford To Keep Schools Open

Doctors are urging the Ontario government to keep schools open despite rising cases counts.

Toronto Staff Writer
Hundreds Of Ontario Doctors Have Signed An Open Letter Asking Ford To Keep Schools Open

Hundreds of Ontario doctors are calling for schools to remain open "regardless of case counts."

An open letter addressed to Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore and signed by over 500 doctors from across Ontario is asking officials not to close down schools due to the "harm" it causes children.

"We are a group of physicians who are deeply concerned about the use of provincial school closures to control the spread of COVID-19. Children and youth have experienced significant harms since March 2020 due to prolonged school closures and we now must prioritize the needs of children and youth," reads the letter.

The letter recommends instead of returning to remote learning, schools use a "test-to-stay" system where students and teachers would remain in school if they were a close contact to someone with COVID-19 and just test frequently with rapid antigen tests.

The basis of their recommendation stems from several arguments, including mental health and psychical wellness of children, low transmission of COVID-19 in schools, the lower risks related to COVID-19 in children, and how severe the effects of the Omicron variant are.

The doctors say school closures "have impacted academic, social and emotional, and physical and mental health," and that "while the Omicron variant has been found to be more transmissible, it has not yet been found to be more virulent."

The letter states that the "baseline risk of COVID-19 to children continues to be low compared to adults," and calls for schools to be deemed an "essential service" that "must remain open."

On December 28, Ford said that a decision on if schools will remain open would be announced "in the next couple days."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Brooke Houghton
    Toronto Staff Writer
    Brooke Houghton is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada's Ontario Desk focused on celebrity news and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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