Not everyone is happy about the announcement.
On Wednesday, the Ontario government announced that mask mandates would mostly end this March, but not everyone is happy with the decision.
On March 21, masks will no longer be required in most public settings except for public transit, health care settings, jails, shelters, congregate care homes and long-term care homes. The following month, all mask mandates will be removed on April 27, along with any remaining COVID-19 measures.
The government's move toward dealing with COVID-19 in the long term has not been received well everywhere. The Children's Health Coalition, Ontario Principals' Council and Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario have all come out with statements to oppose the mask mandate plan and timeline.
In a statement posted on March 9, the Children's Health Coalition said they "would have preferred to see masks kept in place for two weeks after March Break" so they could properly assess the impact of Ontario reopening.
We all want the pandemic to be a memory for our kids, not part of their day-to-day. But we\u2019re not quite there yet, and we ask everyone to continue to be thoughtful of those around them and their needs and choices when it comes to masking. #covid19 #onpolipic.twitter.com/JMKd1hUNBP— childrenshealthcoalition (@childrenshealthcoalition) 1646847556
The organization says that "masks remain an important layer of protection" and encourages "everyone to continue masking in schools" to protect in-person learning and minimize absenteeism.
Ontario Principals' Council took a strong stance against the mandate lifting and tweeted on March 9, claiming the decision "does not appear to be grounded in the science."
We oppose the government\u2019s plan to lift the mask mandate in schools as of March 21 and believe it will jeopardize the safety of students, staff & our school communities. See our full statement here: http://bit.ly/3IXUzfe\u00a0 #OPCLeadLearnpic.twitter.com/Moo359ExKj— Ontario Principals' Council (@Ontario Principals' Council) 1646868140
"We oppose the government's plan to lift the mask mandate in schools as of March 21," reads the statement. "This decision should be revisited when we are in a better position to monitor actual case counts, assess the aftermath of the other pandemic-related restrictions that are set to be eased, gauge ongoing absence rates in schools and further consult with scientific and medical communities."
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario also came out with a similar stance on March 9, claiming that the mandate lifting "puts politics ahead of science."
"As the nursing association that speaks out for nursing and health, we are deeply disappointed with Wednesday's announcement. The province has relinquished its responsibility to protect people from this virus. That's why we urge all Ontarians to continue wearing masks," said RNAO President Morgan Hoffarth in a press release.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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