Kingston students return to the classrooms in staggered start

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Students in the Kingston area return to class today for the first time since COVID-19 shut down all schools in March.

The Limestone District School Board and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board are welcoming students back on a staggered basis starting today through next week. 

If a child develops symptoms in class, Kingston's chief medical officer of health Kieran Moore says they will be isolated into a separated classroom. A parent would then be called and the child will be asseessed and could be tested. 

If a child tests negative, they will be back in school after 24 hours of the test results. But, if they test positive, they will be isolated for two weeks and contract tracing will be done. If two positive cases are connected, an outbreak will be declared. 

While many parents have been nervous for this day to come, Moore said the plan in place is the safest as schools begin to reopen over the week. 

"It's not just teachers in this, it's not just students, it's the entire community that has to embrace prevention to allow our schools to remain safe," he said. "We certainly want to see the schools open safely both for students, for families, and teachers and for all those that work in the school environment."

Local police are also asking drivers to pay extra attention with more children on sidewalks and school busses returning to the roads. They say drivers should give themselves extra commute time, and should stop for schol busses with their lights flashing as those who don't risk a first-time fine between $400 and $2,000, as well as six demerit points. 

-- From News Talk 580 CFRA's Samantha Pope