SickKids doctors expect safe return to school for Ontario students in September

Published June 17, 2020 at 7:50 pm


TORONTO — Medical experts from Toronto’s SickKids Hospital say children in Ontario should be able to return to school in September even though the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 likely won’t be eradicated by then.

SickKids says it has worked closely with Ontario’s Ministry of Education to provide guidance on how to safely reopen schools.

A team of doctors released their recommendations Wednesday, putting more emphasis on hand hygiene than wearing masks or physical distancing.

Dr. Michelle Science says steps should be taken to ensure some distancing in school settings — such as separating desks and putting students into “cohorts” — but trying to enforce safe distances among kids is impractical.

She said face masks are only “potentially beneficial” when worn properly and incorrect use can lead to an increased risk in infection.

The experts also say that according to recent data, children are not the superspreaders of COVID-19 they initially believed they would be.

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