Top doctor says schools are safe as Kingston students return this week

KFLAPH3

Kingston School Boards begin to welcome back students this week and the area's top doctor is reassuring parents that classes are safe. 

Speaking in a question and answer session Friday, Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Public Health Officer for Kingston, Frontenac & Lennox and Addington Public Health, said the risk of COVID-19 remains low for students in the area as they get set to kick off a very different type of school year. 

"When you make a decision about going back to school, you have to look at the benefits of going back to school," Moore said, addressing parents who are concerned about sending their kids back to local classrooms during the era of COVID-19. 

"There's certainly benefits from the social, mental and physical well-being of your child, you have to weigh those benefits versus the very small risk of COVID-19 in our community at present. In my estimation, the social, mental and physical well-being factors way outweigh the risk of COVID-19." 

Local health officials have been working with school boards to help with their return to school protocols, with the first set of students in both the Public and Catholic Boards to begin this week. 

The Limestone District School Board and The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board have staggered their start to the school year, with the public board welcoming back students between Thursday and next Friday Sept. 11, while the Catholic Board will start its classes between Thursday and Monday Sept. 14. 

Both boards also moved last week to make masks mandatory for all students in Kindergarten through Grade 12.