SickKids releases recommendations for school reopening
An advisory group led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has been working closely with the Ministry of Education of the Government of Ontario to provide guidance on the safe reopening of schools in September.
The document, COVID-19: Recommendations for School Reopening (pdf), released today, addresses how schools can reopen in a way that maximizes the safety and well-being of students, staff and their families. Representing a variety of specialty areas including paediatrics, infectious diseases and child and youth psychiatry, the authors offer their insights into the impact of COVID-19 on the health and well-being of children and youth.
COVID-19 Recommendations for School Reopening Report
It is critical to balance the risk of direct infection and transmission of COVID-19 in children with the harms of school closure on their physical and mental health. This report provides support and general guidance for school reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have to accept that COVID-19 will stay with us for a long time. We must move on with certain activities in our lives, such as schooling, while keeping in mind that there are a lot of ways to mitigate risk," says Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO of SickKids and one of the authors of the document.
"Not opening schools in September would continue to have a negative impact on the mental, behavioural and developmental health of children. We hope these recommendations help provide a framework to keep everyone safe when school doors reopen."
Developed by experts from SickKids and Unity Health Toronto, with input from scientists at the University of Toronto and SickKids’ Family Advisory Network, the recommendations include important topics such as screening, hand hygiene, physical distancing, use of non-medical masks, and more.
At a media webinar held today, experts from SickKids discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the health and well-being of children and youth, and presented their guidelines for the reopening of schools.