Children’s Health Coalition Statement

TORONTO, August 3, 2021 – Working with the Ontario Covid Science Table, child health experts released a Science Brief last month outlining ways to achieve the crucial goal of keeping schools open all year for in-person learning. The Children’s Health Coalition is pleased to see that the main elements of that report appear to have been adopted by the Medical Officer of Health and the Ministry of Education. We look forward to reviewing the plan in greater detail in coming days.

Thank you to all educators, school board staff, parents and caregivers, students and all those working together to ensure the safety of our schools and communities.

The benefits of a return to in-person learning and socialisation are clear not only for the development of students, but, just as importantly, for the overall health and well-being of Ontario’s children, youth and families.

Collectively as adults we must prioritize children’s safe return to the classroom this Fall and ensure kids and families are a top priority in the province’s COVID recovery plans. High vaccination uptake among those eligible is key to protecting children and keeping schools open, and communications to support greater vaccine confidence and uptake should continue to be a priority for the province. Short of catastrophic circumstances, schools should remain open for in-person learning throughout the coming school year. The health and well-being of Ontario’s children, youth and families depend on it.

About the Children’s Health Coalition: The Children’s Health Coalition is a growing collective of children’s health organizations, including CHEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, SickKids, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital – London Health Sciences Centre, Children’s Mental Health Ontario and Empowered Kids Ontario.

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