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08-Apr-2021

Bluewater District School Board advocates to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline education workers


Bluewater District School Board building

Bluewater District School Board trustees are calling for the prioritization of COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline essential education workers, who work directly with or in close proximity to students.

Trustees expressed their concerns in a letter to Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott, and Grey Bruce Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are reaching out to our public health and provincial partners to implore that our frontline essential education workers, who work directly with or in close proximity to students, be prioritized to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible.

We understand that vaccinations for frontline essential education workers have been or are being fast-tracked in other parts of the province. We applaud these efforts and ask that the same prioritization be extended to our local region. This is especially critical if our schools are to remain open to in-person learning and continue operating safely while the provincial stay-at-home order is in effect. As identified many times by the provincial government, public health officials, and those working in public education, in-person learning is imperative to student mental health and well-being. Prioritizing vaccinations for
education workers is a crucial step in keeping our physical schools open while curbing the spread of COVID-19.

As always, our commitment remains focused on providing a quality education for every student in a safe, accepting, and caring environment.

Sincerely,

Jane Thomson, Chair
Jan Johnstone, Chair Vice-Chair

There have been reports of fast-tracked vaccinations for frontline essential education workers occurring in other parts of Ontario. Bluewater District School Board advocates for this same level of prioritization in our local region if schools are to remain open to in-person learning and continue operating safely during the provincial stay-at-home order.

“We know from recent experience how critical in-person learning is to the mental health and well-being of our students. While our situation has been enviable in Bruce and Grey counties during this pandemic, further measures are needed now to ensure our physical schools stay open and safe. Providing additional protection by vaccinating our frontline essential staff sooner than later is a crucial next step to reduce risk and avoid further disruption for all in our school communities,” says Bluewater District School Board Chair Jane Thomson.

 


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