Saskatchewan is planning to bring students back to classrooms under conditions “as close to normal as possible” and isn’t saying much about mask use.
The province has released a plan providing guidance to its 27 school divisions on how to they can safely resume classes in September.
The Ministry of Education says there are different scenarios that could come into effect based on advice from the province’s chief medical health officer.
It says the scenario being planned has classrooms functioning much like they were before the COVID−19 pandemic, with additional precautions.
Schools are to have dedicated quarantine areas where symptomatic students can go before they are picked up by parents and recesses, lunch breaks and classes are to be staggered.
There will also be increased cleaning and schools are to bring in measures to prevent touching.
“Measures are to be implemented to reduce risk of transmission in the classroom, including: wherever possible, limiting physical contact such as hugs and hand holding, as well as encouraging the use of alternative greetings such as ’air high fives,’” a government news release said Tuesday.
Saskatchewan reported 253 active cases of COVID−19, with nine new ones on Tuesday.
The Alberta government has announced it is making masks mandatory for most students and staff when classes resume in September, similar to plans in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Saskatchewan lists wearing masks and reducing school capacity as options under other scenarios that may be considered.
“Our guiding principle continues to be ensuring schools are a safe place for students and staff,” Education Minister Gord Wyant said in a release.
Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
© The Canadian Press