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Post Easter Update

Dear Members of the De La Salle College Community:

We are all aware that the Province of Ontario is currently experiencing a sixth wave of COVID-19 due to the highly transmissible Omicron BA.2 variant.

Given the significant increase in daily cases and in an abundance of caution to reduce the number of student and teacher absences, which have increased of late, masks for indoor spaces at De La Salle College will remain mandatory until Wednesday, May 4, 2022 for all students, teachers, staff, and visitors when we return to school on April 20, 2022. The situation will continue to be monitored closely at the school and the school’s Administration will communicate any further extensions to this protocol if and when necessary. It is hoped that as of Thursday, May 5, 2022 this protocol will be replaced with a strongly recommended request for the use of masks that will remain in place until the end of classes on June 3, 2022.

It is important to recognize that this revised protocol is consistent with the recent statements by Ontario‘s Chief Medical Officer of Health as recently as on April 11, 2022 which noted that although masking is no longer mandatory in most public places, they are strongly recommended for indoor spaces. We continue to impress on all members of the community that it is extremely important that all students and staff wear well- fitted three layer masks in classrooms, all common areas including hallways, and cafeteria when not eating or drinking. Students and staff are reminded of the importance of acting responsibly by following the appropriate protocols for travelling on public transportation as determined by public health officials. As well, students and staff are reminded to remain at home when experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.

The use of non-medical masks is one of several pandemic control measures that has proven effective in reducing COVID-19 transmission in the community and in our schools. Masking has played an important role in allowing our students to be in school learning and for a gradual return now to many pre-pandemic activities and routines. Wearing a mask helps to slow down the transmission of COVID-19 and helps alleviate staff shortages that could result in school closures and the re-introduction of online learning. There is little to be gained by dispensing with masks at this time but more to lose if students and teachers are increasingly absent as has been seen in the last two weeks in schools across the GTA.

The best form of protection from serious illness due to COVID-19 infection is to be vaccinated. Although the College has no intention at this time to mandate vaccinations beyond the two doses required, it is recommended that students and teachers consider booster vaccines administered at the appropriate intervals as determined by Health Canada.

We are thankful that the College has succeeded throughout this pandemic to remain open for in class learning except when required to close by order of public health authorities. This is in large part the result of the co-operation of all the members of the school community. Students need to be in school and taking advantage of the many opportunities for learning, socialising and recreating as normally as possible. This can only be accomplished with the use of common sense and a generous disposition for the welfare of others.

Continued blessings of the Risen Lord.