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Ontario doctors call for mandatory vaccines and indoor masking for anyone working in a school

Ontario Medical Association say children need added protection since they cannot yet be vaccinated
The Ontario Medical Association has renewed call for stricter back-to-school safety measures.

The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is calling for some tough COVID-19 guidelines for teachers and anyone else working in school settings to make things as safe as possible for children. 

The organization which represents Ontario physicians said children are not eligible for vaccines at this time, so it is up to others to keep children safe.

The statement was issued Aug. 12 afternoon under the signature of OMA president Dr. Adam Kassam. 

"Schools should be safe places for everyone. That's why we are calling for vaccine requirements for teachers and others who work in schools in addition to mandatory masking indoors and other measures as schools reopen in September," said Kassam.

The renewed call for stricter back-to-school safety measures follows two previous recommendations from the medical community: one was for mandatory vaccinations for health-care workers; the other was asking the province to create a verifiable vaccine certificate that employers and private businesses could rely on to know their customers, employees and colleagues have been fully vaccinated.

The new concern comes as the province appears to be moving beyond Step-3 of the Reopening of Ontario Act which came into play in mid-July. Many political leaders and business leaders are hoping that pandemic restrictions will be significantly loosened if enough Ontario residents get vaccinated and if daily COVID case counts drop off dramatically.

But concern is also rising over the fact that many non-vaccinated Ontario citizens are being infected with COVID-19 and the case counts are being driven by the highly contagious Delta Variant, said the OMA statement.

The OMA said the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent a resurgence of the pandemic is for everyone to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, and to continue following all public health measures. 

"Together, the measures recommended by doctors will help us all stay safe," said OMA CEO Allan O'Dette. "By protecting our health, we are also protecting a continued reopening of our economy."

To find out where you can get your COVID shot, ask your family doctor or visit Ontario's vaccine booking portal.