A new website is in the works to provide parents and guardians with information to keep their kids healthy this school year.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit on Wednesday announced that its team is developing the website to further share back-to-school protocols surrounding face masks, handwashing, buses and other COVID-19 precautions. Although there is no set release date for the website, medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahemd said the health unit wants to make it available to the public as soon as possible.
The website will house “guidance that parents can use to talk to their children, and also to educate themselves on what to expect when they go back to school,” Ahmed said.
Parents and guardians have until Friday to notify the local public and Catholic school boards whether they will be sending their children back to school or opt for at-home online learning. Understandably, Ahmed said, parents and guardians “are experiencing fear and anxiety” about sending kids back to school, and have been reaching out to the health unit with questions about what to do.
“There is no risk-free option,” Ahmed said. “Sending your kids to school may increase the risk fo getting COVID-19 in the class setting. Keeping your kids at home may have an effect on their social and developmental wellbeing, and it will not necessarily prevent you or your family from getting COVID-19. The only right decision here is what is right for you, your children, and your family.”
The coming website for parents and guardians will contain a compilation of advice and guidance from public health to answer those questions, he said, as well as the organization’s Safe Return to School toolkit , which is already available on its website.
Health unit CEO Theresa Marentette reported one additional case of COVID-19 on Wednesday. That individual is a member of the general community who contracted the disease through community spread.
Seven people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus are in hospital, with one of them in intensive care. Ninety-two active cases are still self-isolating.
To date, 2,276 of the region’s total 2,450 cases have recovered.
No additional deaths were reported Wednesday.
Two retirement homes in the region are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor has had four staff members test positive for the virus since Aug. 11, and New Beginnings in Leamington has had one staff member and four residents test positive since Aug. 10.
The health unit is also monitoring two agricultural workplaces in Leamington for outbreaks. There, two or more employees have tested positive for COVID-19 within a reasonable timeline to suspect transmission may have occurred in the workplace.
All other workplace outbreak notices have been rescinded.
The health unit has said it will not name the workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks unless they pose a threat to the health of the general community.