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Ability to identify COVID cases in schools a concern for Ottawa board as return-to-class looms

Students are set to go back to classrooms on January 17, but Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Chair Lynn Scott believes many families will be debating sending their kids.
2020-09-02 OCDSB school COVID-19 protocol social distance 2
An Ottawa-Carleton District School Board school with COVID-19 measures in place, September 2, 2020. Photo/ OCDSB

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) says it's working with Ottawa Public Health on how it can provide reassurance to parents regarding the levels of COVID-19 that could occur within their child's school or class.

"I think it's a concern for everybody," OCDSB Chair Lynn Scott told CityNews' The Sam Laprade Show, Tuesday, January 11. 

"We haven't figured it out yet," she added.

Scott says one of the biggest challenges is the ongoing shortage of rapid antigen tests. 

"People are having a lot of difficulty accessing those and we really really need more."

Students are set to go back to classrooms on January 17, but the board chair believes many families will be debating sending their kids.

"I think a lot depends on your individual family circumstances. If you have somebody who is more vulnerable to having a bad case of COVID, you might want to think twice about how your child might be exposed and might be possibly bring the infection home," said Scott. "At the same time I think you also have to consider the mental health and development of your child. Because we know, and we certainly have heard a lot from the pediatric community, these shutdowns of school have really had a very bad impact on mental health and social development of children."

Listen to Scott's full conversation with Sam Laprade:

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