NS COVID-19: School mask mandate falls on Tuesday OCN News

When students in Nova Scotia return to school on Tuesday after the Victoria Day long weekend, wearing masks will be optional.

“I haven’t been to school since grade 10 without a mask and I’m a senior,” says grade 12 student Jenna Kedy.

Kedy is fully vaccinated, she is also immunocompromised.

“It terrifies me, I’m very scared of catching COVID and I have been from the start,” she says.

Despite that, Kedy says she’s ready for the masks to come off.

“I think we’re coming to a consensus that I think we have to keep living our lives even if it has devastating effects. I just think we kind of have to kind of move on a bit and live with it,” says Kedy . .

The IWK Hospital in Halifax successfully lobbied the province to keep the mandate when they previously planned to give it up.

Although it won’t happen this time, the hospital is encouraging students and staff to keep their masks on.

“Our emergency department and our inpatient services at the IWK are experiencing extremely high volumes, and we still have staffing issues due to COVID. Our group is concerned about the resulting impact on our pediatric health care system,” says Dr. Andrew Lynk, Director of Pediatrics at the IWK Health Center.

The president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union says members are divided on the issue. Paul Wozney raises some concerns about the breakdown of the weakened system.

“We were already in the middle of a substitute teacher crisis before Omicron and I just made it worse. So I think your concern has really been the only real protection at school since November and we’ve barely been able to keep the doors open day to day,” says Wozney.

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