'This isn't hypothetical': Sask. teachers' union calls for province-wide masking, mandatory vaccination in schools

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation president Patrick Maze speaks to media in Saskatoon on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (Laura Woodward/CTV Saskatoon)

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the union representing Saskatchewan's teachers is calling on the province to reintroduce a province-wide masking requirement and other measures.

“Since mid-July, case numbers in Saskatchewan children and youth have been nearly doubling each week,” Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) president said in a news release.

"There are simple, accessible and effective tools that we know work, small class sizes, masking, vaccines for those eligible and social distancing. Without a provincial public health order, this dire situation is only going to get worse," Maze said.

The STF is also renewing its call for mandatory vaccinations for eligible school staff and students.

"Our hospitals are full; surgeries and procedures are being cancelled. Burnt out frontline health care workers are being subjected to protests outside of hospitals. This isn’t hypothetical, it is real," Maze said.

Maze said there are inconsistences in the approach to managing COVID-19 such as students who are deemd clos contacts of a positive case can still attend classes, but not other activities.

"Where someone is exposed to COVID-19 does not impact their ability to get sick or spread the illness. Not only are the rules illogical, but they will also be very difficult to implement in our schools," Maze said.

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