It’s Time to Reopen Schools in Kingston
With COVID cases on the decline and vaccination rates continuing to rise, I believe now is the right time for the province to look at reopening schools here in Kingston. The third wave of the pandemic has been tough on everyone in our community but it’s been especially difficult for children and youth. The Maltby Centre for example is seeing a major increase in demand for counselling services for young people who are struggling right now. Teachers, parents and students have all done an amazing job moving to virtual learning at home over the last month, and at various points throughout the last year, but it’s also been a huge strain on families and on the mental and social development of young people.
Our community has worked incredibly hard over the last few weeks to follow public health restrictions and reduce the spread of COVID in our community. At the same time, our public health folks are hard at work vaccinating as many people as they can to ensure teachers and other frontline essential workers are protected. Given the current COVID status here in Kingston, many of our local health professionals are now saying it’s safe enough to reopen schools. Opening schools may not be the right choice in other areas of the province where case rates are higher, but it is the right move here. That’s why I’m asking the provincial government to take a regional approach that would allow teachers and students here in KFL&A to get back into the classroom for the last few weeks of the school year.