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EDITORIAL: COVID support in schools needed earlier

In the case of tracking COVID in schools, taking a month and a half to implement measures is not enough
cochrane-opinion

Sometimes it’s about time is not enough.

In the case of tracking COVID in schools, taking a month and a half to implement measures is not enough.

Rocky View Schools has lagged behind other school divisions when it comes to taking steps like mandatory masking in schools and tracking and reporting self-reported COVID cases in schools.

Other jurisdictions like Calgary, Edmonton and smaller school divisions like Foothills School Division in Okotoks have been reporting on self-reported cases for weeks now.

However, it was the Province that removed all the tracking in place for schools just as the Delta variant started picking up steam. It was also the provincial government that made masks in schools voluntary and took away testing for children with COVID exposures in their class unless there is an outbreak.

Jason Kenney declared the best summer ever a few months ago, only to lead students, teachers and administrators into the worst fall ever in terms of COVID transmission, cases and hospitalizations.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange’s announcement this week only puts more pressure on schools and school divisions with little direction and no support for another month.

Already at least two Cochrane schools have outbreaks, or 10 per cent of their population is absent due to respiratory illness, whatever that means.

Parents have been left in the dark as to what is happening in their child’s classroom for too long.

It is understandable that people want COVID to be over but wishing it doesn’t make it so – a lesson we didn’t need to be learning this school year.