North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit wants students back in school
Members of the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit met virtually Thursday morning to update the region on the latest COVID-19 updates.
The district's top doctor told CTV News he’s disappointed students will be learning virtually until September.
“We are disappointed. When we weigh the benefits and the risk we thought the risks were manageable,” said Dr. Jim Chirico.
“The decision has been made, we move forward and we now focus on the importance of getting everyone immunized as soon as we possibly can.”
Shannon Mantha, the health unit’s executive director of clinical services, echoed Chirico’s comments, saying having students back in the classroom benefits their mental and emotional well-being.
“Our focus now is to make sure the return to school in September is very successful,” Mantha said.
“We’re really prioritizing students' well-being for when they return in September.”
Mantha said the health unit is happy the government took a province-wide approach, instead of a regional approach, when it comes to opening schools.
“We were just hoping for a different decision,” she said.
The area currently has 12 active COVID-19 cases.
While there are talks of the province lifting some restrictions before June 19, Chirico said he’s not in favour of that option.
“The quickest path to a strong and sustainable reopening is not opening too fast,” he said. “We need to be very cautious of the loosening of restrictions. We do not want to repeat what happened before."
So far, more than 67 per cent of adults aged 18 and older living in the North Bay Parry Sound District have received at least their first dose of vaccine.