Easing of COVID restrictions

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“Now is not the time to let our guard down. 

Despite the lifting of provincial COVID restrictions on July 1, it is crucial to remember that we are still in the midst of a very dangerous pandemic, and new virus variants continue to pose a real threat to our society. 

COVID will still have a significant presence in schools this fall, and the changes announced on July 27 will surely make it much worse. With elementary schoolchildren ineligible for vaccination and less than half of children over 12 fully vaccinated, a substantial number of students are still at risk.

Tuesday’s announcement effectively eliminated testing, contact tracing and mandatory isolation. Teachers and administrators are not going to know when there are cases actively attending their school. 

It is irresponsible, at this time, to eliminate these basic safety measures. They do not pose a significant intrusion to the classroom and can go a long way to ensure COVID is kept under control. The Alberta government must reverse the recent easing of pandemic safety precautions to ensure students and school communities are reasonably protected.

This past year has been challenging for students, teachers and families. The pandemic has had a very disruptive effect on learning, and the last thing we want to see is a repeat of the previous year. 

The most important thing people can do is get vaccinated—as soon as possible.”

Jason Schilling, Alberta Teachers’ Association President