Dear parents and friends of MSK,
I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying the remainder of the April break as best as you can.
This email is in regards to new MSK rules concerning Covid-19 as of Monday April 19, 2021, the first day back from Spring break for all Toddler and Casa students, staff and families.
Effective immediately, MANDATORY MASKS MUST BE WORN BY EVERYONE AT ALL TIMES WHILE ON THE MSK PROPERTY. All students ages 2 and up are highly recommended to wear a mask or shield. All staff, families and visitors MUST WEAR A MASK WHILE ON THE MSK PROPERTY AT ALL TIMES. Please practice having your child wear a mask. Please also consider providing a few replacements of masks. Please ensure that there is a bag that your children can place their masks in should there require a change throughout the day. Face shields are also acceptable for students ages 2 to 5. Please also practice your child social distancing from others and speak to them about personal space. Students will be given plenty of opportunity to not wear their masks, especially outdoors when permitted. Or when they are at their assigned work spots. Please note that Toddlers do not have to wear a mask or shield.
Upon arrival to MSK, please ensure that you have the health screening check filled out and kindly place the completed form in the outside pocket or within your child’s backpack. DO NOT HAND IT TO US. We will remove when we can in between hand sanitizing. We are trying to limit the amount of items that we are holding in our hands and touching. Please ensure that you communicate this with your children and that you practice this with your children. They should walk in on their own with their backpacks on their backs. The exception is with some of the Toddler students, where staff will help to carry items (if required). If there are many families waiting outside the entrance wait in your vehicles until it is safe to come out.
If your children are sick, STAY HOME and inform your teachers.
If you have been exposed to Covid-19, stay home and follow Public Health guidelines.
There have been many closures in the community, including restaurants etc that many families frequent. As well as other schools. We kindly ask that if you have been informed to self-isolate, that you kindly share this information with us. We appreciate that you are following the rules to keep others safe.
We are trying our best to remind each other of the rules as there are times that this is needed and required. IT IS ALWAYS A GOOD TIME TO REMIND EACH OTHER. Since the last Government announcement I have been scared to be honest. Not because of what we are all doing here at MSK, or what I am doing myself for my family, but what happens outside of MSK. It takes a moment’s decision to not be accountable, to easily forget and to think that Covid-19 will not affect us, but the reality is that it does not discriminate, it will and can choose anyone of us.
Please consider that we are all in the same boat. No one is better than the other. We all have our reasons why we need to not get exposed!
Please DO NOT CONGREGATE outside in the MSK parking lot or playgrounds. This is unacceptable and not allowed. I have seen this time and time again and I cannot stress this enough especially when we are trying to teach your children not to! Please maintain your distance at all times.
If you are enrolled in other programs outside of MSK that your child is in attendance, we must know. This may include extracurriculars, tutoring centers or play dates. We encourage you not to. This then increases our risks as well.
If you feel that these new rules are too much, consider staying home and participating in remote learning. I invite you to call me to further discuss. One of my jobs is to keep your children, my staff and myself safe while in my care and I have always taken this job seriously. Please inform your child’s teachers prior to Monday if you are choosing to stay home so that they can share the remote learning information with you. Depending on numbers of students staying at home, we may increase the amount of remote learning offered throughout the week. For now, it will be offered on 2 days out of the week.
The following is the most updated information from yesterday’s announcement:
“The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is strengthening enforcement of the province’s Stay-at-Home order while imposing new travel restrictions and further strengthening public health measures. These urgent actions are targeted at stopping the rapid growth in COVID-19 case rates and relieving mounting pressures on the province’s health care system.
Details were provided yesterday by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“As the latest modelling confirms, without taking immediate and decisive action COVID-19 cases will spiral out of control and our hospitals will be overwhelmed,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we are making difficult, but necessary decisions to reduce mobility and keep people in the safety of their own homes. We need to contain the spread of this deadly virus, while getting vaccines in as many arms as quickly as possible.”
To increase public compliance with the Stay-at-Home order and stop the spread of COVID-19, amendments to an emergency order (O.Reg 8/21 Enforcement of COVID-19 Measures) have been made that will provide police officers and other provincial offences officers enhanced authority to support the enforcement of Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order.
Effective Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., police officers and other provincial offences officers will have the authority to require any individual to provide their home address and purpose for not being at their residence. In addition, police officers, special constables and First Nation Constables will have the authority to stop vehicles to inquire about an individual’s reasons for leaving their home. This additional enforcement tool will only be in effect during the Stay-at-Home order and exclusively to enforce the Stay-at-Home order.
“With our hospital system under significant pressure and the continued increase of COVID-19 variants, we are stepping up enforcement to ensure that people adhere to the Stay-at-Home order and follow public health measures,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “This is a critical moment in Ontario’s response to this deadly virus, that’s why we are doing whatever it takes to stop the spread and protect our communities.”
Both the provincial declaration of emergency and the Stay-at-Home order (O.Reg 265/21) have been extended for an additional two weeks to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The Stay-at-Home order currently in effect requires everyone to remain at home except for specified purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.
“Now, more than ever before, businesses need to take all measures possible to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Minister McNaughton. “We’re in workplaces every day to enforce safety requirements and we won’t hesitate to stop unsafe work and ticket offenders. Today, we launched an enhanced, targeted provincewide inspection campaign of construction sites, dispatching 200 workplace inspectors, supported by provincial offenses officers, to visit 1,300 constructions sites to enforce COVID-19 safety requirements. In addition, provincial offences officers will also be visiting over 500 workplaces this weekend in the COVID-19 hotspots of Ottawa, Toronto and York Region. Their visits will include big-box stores, food processors, manufacturers and warehouses.”
In order to limit the transmission of the variants of concern, the government is also restricting travel into Ontario from the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec with the exception of purposes such as work, health care services, transportation and delivery of goods and services or exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights.
“The rising spread of variants means we must take stronger measures to limit transmission and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we continue to work to vaccinate those in the areas with the highest rates of transmission, everyone must adhere to public health measures and stay at home as much as possible to protect capacity in our health system and the health of thousands of Ontarians.”
The government also intends to implement the following public health and workplace safety measures effective Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.:
In addition, effective Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is limiting the capacity of weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 10 people indoors or outdoors. Social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions are prohibited, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone. Drive-in services will be permitted.
All other public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake (i.e., curbside pick-up and delivery only), will continue to apply.
To further support “hot spot” communities where COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted certain neighbourhoods, as part of Phase Two of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, the government is committed to dedicating 25 per cent of future vaccine allocations to the 13 public health regions with historic and ongoing high rates of death, hospitalization and COVID-19 transmission.
“As we see the trends in key health indicators deteriorate to levels far exceeding anything we have seen before, it is necessary to follow public health and workplace safety measures given this continued and rapid case growth,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “By staying at home and limiting travel for essential purposes only, such as getting groceries or going to a medical appointment or to get vaccinated, we can reduce mobility and help interrupt transmission of this virus.”
Remember, we are stronger together! But we are nothing without our health! Safety first.
If you have any further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask.