Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation renews calls for more COVID-19 protection for schools

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is calling on the province to take measures to protect school staff and children from COVID-19.

According to the STF, this year’s school measures would include students who are identified as close contacts in a school setting would be able to return to class as long as they wear a mask, while those identified as close contacts outside of the classroom will need to self-isolate.

STF Patrick Maze says it doesn’t make sense.

“There’s all kinds of concerns around that as well as far as who’s going to supervise and make sure that these students are wearing their masks, who’s going to know which students were exposed and which weren’t,” Maze said. “Really, we’re reliant on students and parents now in the lack of significant health orders to indicate to us who is exposed or not.”

This comes as 163 of yesterday’s new cases of COVID-19 were found in those 19 and younger, with 101 of them in those 11 and under.

Maze says that is concerning, especially seeing as there’s no way of knowing the long-term effects of having COVID.

“It’s really important, we have the ability to keep people safe, we know what we need to do as far as mask-wearing in all high schools and all of the schools — which still isn’t even occurring,” Maze said. “There’s many school divisions (where) it’s optional for high school students to wear masks still.”

Maze says he is repeating his call for mandatory vaccines for not only staff, but also students in schools.

“It makes no sense to say that all staff have to be vaccinated if you’re sitting across from a 17-year-old/18-year-old student whose just choosing not to get vaccinated,” Maze said. “That student shouldn’t be able to put the classroom at risk like that.”

Maze adds there’s no reason to not get vaccinated unless it’s for medical or religious reasons.

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