Education Minister touts school safety protocols


With back to school in full swing, Ontario's Education Minister is touting the province's safety plans that he believes will ensure students can remain in the classroom.

Speaking on AM800's morning drive, Stephen Lecce explained that to reduce the risk of cases in schools education workers will have to have both vaccine doses or be subject to rapid tests to come inside.

"We also have active screening at the front doors of every school for students and staff of this province for the first couple weeks," Lecce continued. "When it comes to testing, making it easier for individuals to get a quick result more efficiently so that our staff can get back to teaching what they do best and our kids can get back to learning which they need to do given the gaps that have emerged in the past."

On top of the screenings and available testing, Lecce also touted the physical safety aspects that the province has invested in, which the chief medical officer of health has endorsed, for schools around the province but specifically in the area.

"By investing in safe schools and ventilation and more HEPA units. The fact that there are over 1,700 standalone HEPA units within the classrooms of Windsor-Essex as we speak right now underscores a commitment that we have made to follow the science and invest in safe schools," he said.

Lecce spoke about extracurricular activities like football as well, a topic that has been making a lot of noise locally for a few weeks due to its still uncertain future.

"I really want to see those kids get back into sports and extracurriculars, I think we all do. What I've heard from the board is it wasn't a cancellation it was a pause. I'm hoping that as numbers can come down we can get these kids back into what we call the normal experience."

Lecce says they've undertaken the plans and protocols they believe will get kids back to where they need to be mentally to be able to have success both in the classroom and outside of it even with COVID-19 still posing an issue.