Teachers in Brampton and Mississauga have been strongly advised to eat lunch alone to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Peel District School Board (PDSB) has updated procedures based on recommendations from Peel Public Health, acknowledging that variants of concern have been found in schools.
“Increased Personal Protection Equipment and acting with an abundance of caution in our implementation of enhanced safety measures are meant to keep students, staff and the community safe,” a spokesperson from PDSB told Daily Hive in a statement.
“We know that our staff have gone above and beyond to protect themselves, their students and their colleagues, and it is appreciated.”
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The public health unit has noted that staff-to-staff transmission over lunch hours continues to be one of the “major risk factors” for transmission. Therefore, it’s a “strong recommendation” that no one else is present when masks are removed for eating purposes.
Staff can continue to use unused classrooms, specifically when students are outside, to have more space. It has also been recommended for support and custodial staff that share space create a schedule, so only one person is eating in the space at a time.
When it comes to drinking water in class, staff can continue to do so with students in the room.
“Peel Public Health has asked that staff must maintain at least 2 meters distance when drinking and that they immediately put their masks back on.”
The PBSB has also required staff to wear goggles or face shields inside school property for more than 15 minutes. It can be removed when outdoors.