Masks

Effective Monday, May 30, 2022, the OCDSB will adjust requirements for the wearing of masks, moving from “mandatory” to “strongly encouraged”. We continue to strongly encourage the wearing of masks and will respect decision-making made by students, families, and staff based on personal risk factors.

Background

The mandatory mask mandate has been in place by Board motion, since April. The motion indicated that mask use would continue until such time as Ottawa Public Health (OPH) may explicitly advise otherwise. On May 20th, 2022, Ottawa Public Health communicated the following data to Ottawa-area school boards:

  • Wastewater viral levels are decreasing, bringing them to less than half of what they were earlier this spring and lower than the January 2022 peak;
  • Testing percent positivity is moderate and levels are decreasing; 
  • New hospital admissions are low and decreasing; and
  • New confirmed outbreaks are low and decreasing. 

The trends in these monitoring indicators suggest that COVID-19 transmission in Ottawa continues to decrease at a steady pace, which is consistent with data reported by the Ontario Science Table

Both local and provincial data show a steady decrease, indicating that we have reached a point where we can adjust our practice. We continue to strongly encourage the wearing of masks and will respect decision-making made by students, families, and staff based on personal risk factors.

Ottawa Public Health Mask Resources

Ottawa Public Health encourages families to continue with the layers of protection that make them feel at ease and which can continue to decrease COVID-19 transmission, including masking. According to OPH, “Masking has been an important part of a layered approach to limit transmission of COVID-19 in schools and in the community at large. Masks can help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and add a layer of protection to prevent COVID-19 transmission. It is important for each individual to assess their own risk level, and the risk of those they live and interact with.” 

To support you in assessing risk and making the best decision for your family, OPH has launched a webpage about evaluating risk. In addition, the OPH Masks page provides helpful information about different types of masks, how to improve the fit of your mask, and frequently asked questions. 

When is a Mask Required? 

Upon return from international travel, if you are exempt from quarantine AND are not fully vaccinated, you must wear a mask at all times when in public spaces (including schools and child care) for your first 14 days in Canada. Fully vaccinated returning international travelers are no longer required to mask in public settings for 14 days after arrival to Canada. 

Note: These are the current federal regulations (as of May 26, 2022) and you can find complete details on the Government of Canada’s website. Federal travel guidelines are subject to change; please consult the federal travel website regularly for the most up-to-date information. Please note, the OCDSB cannot provide specific travel guidance. Any additional questions should be directed towards Federal authorities. 

There are also additional circumstances where an individual may be required to wear a mask in public, such as after someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 has completed their 5 day self-isolation period. Read more about when masks are required in public spaces on Ottawa Public Health’s website


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.