Halton Hills Newspapers

Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 24 Sep 2020, p. 3

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3 | The IFP -H alton H ills | T hursday,S eptem ber 24,2020 theifp.ca Reopening schools safelymatters to everyone That's why the government of Ontario has worked with health officials, school boards and educators to develop a comprehensive plan to keep kids and staff safe. • Physical distancing measures will be implemented such as desk separation, signs, floor markings and one-way hallways. • Face coveringswill be required for staff and students in Grades 4-12. • Hand hygienewill be enabled with hand sanitizer and hand washing. • More nurseswill be in schools. • School cleaningwill be enhanced. Paid for by the Government of Ontario Visit ontario.ca/ReopeningSchools 9478 Wellington Rd 124, ERIN, ON 519-833-9313 | bloomgreen.ca All items while quantities last. Subject to availability.We reserve the right to limit quantities. Images are for illustration purposes only.The text prevails over images. Although we strive for accuracy in both copy and illustrations, errors may occur. 150 years experience* refers to combined experience of Bloomgreen's management team at time of publication. Mon to Fri 8-7 | Sat 8-6 | Sun 9-5 FOLLOW USPlants soil mulch gravel BulBs and other items on sale! direct from holland to Bloom Green. large Variety of Fall Bulbs, Crocus, hyacinth,tulips, daffodils and more. huGe Plant &treesale!! all indoor Plants 50% oFF There is a critical need for timelier CO- VID-19 testing in the region in light of re- vised screening protocols launched on Tuesday by the province, according to the chair of the Halton District School Board. The new model does not require family members to self-isolate along with a child who is awaiting test results for a potential positive COVID-19 result. Only once that child has a confirmed case would the parent, sibling or other close contacts need to self-isolate, ex- plained superintendent of education Co- lette Ruddock in a verbal report to the board on Sept. 16. "So, whether it is a parent of a student, a sibling of a student, or it's a staff member who has a child who's got symptoms, ac- cording to this new provincial screening tool, they are not required to self-isolate," said Ruddock. The news triggered an immediate re- sponse from chair Andrea Grebenc, who said it is even more imperative now that testing is timely, because schools need to know as quickly as possible if there is a positive COVID-19 case, so that contact tracing and isolation can occur "to keep COVID at bay and out of our schools as much as possible." In Halton today, it can take up to 72 hours to get an initial appointment for a COVID-19 test and another four days to get the results, said Grebenc, adding that there are no walk-in testing clinics in the region. "So you're looking at potentially seven days to get a test result back, and you can imagine the mixing and mingling that can happen, especially now that siblings, chil- dren, parents don't have to self-isolate while waiting for a test result," said Gre- benc. Because Halton Region Public Health has now aligned its screening protocols with the province's, and the board has been following local public health guidance throughout the pandemic, the board will adjust its model too, said Ruddock. With unanimous support from her fel- low trustees, Grebenc will be writing a let- ter to the premier, ministers of education and health, the regional chair and Halton's medical officer of health, imploring them to "dramatically increase the accessibility and capacity for same-day COVID-19 test- ing and results." NEWS TRUSTEES PUSH FOR QUICKER COVID-19 TESTING KATHY YANCHUS kyanchus@metroland.com

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