The province’s teachers are asking school divisions across Saskatchewan to implement rapid COVID-19 testing immediately.
The Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation is also asking the province to consider school staff as priority for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have the rapid tests, and we need to be using them,” said STF President Patrick Maze in a statement. “This is our best tool to get ahead of the spread of variants of concern and slow transmission in our schools and communities.”
According to Maze, many teachers are worried the response is too reactive and not keeping them safe.
“They’re scared, frankly,” said Maze. “Not just for themselves, but for their communities
Maze argues that Saskatchewan isn’t alone in the fight against the coronavirus and should work together with other regions to find the best solutions.
He cites the U.K. as an example, where students and staff are being tested four times a week with rapid tests. The STF wants random testing to begin immediately.
Maze adds had frontline school staff been vaccinated back in mid-January, when several clinics were set up for general public vaccinations, those staff would be much safer in their workplaces. “We now have reports of teachers in Regina, Moose Jaw and Weyburn contracting the virus, which is very concerning and represents a failure on the part of both government and school divisions, as employers, to keep their employees safe.”