Mask Mandate

Mask Mandate
Posted on 05/19/2022
Mask Mandate

Many people have asked about the status of the mask mandate in OCDSB schools and administrative buildings. Currently, an end date has not been established. We are working with Ottawa Public Health to monitor these key COVID-19 indicators in the community and associated risk factors, which will inform the lifting of the requirement. We will continue to keep families and staff informed.  

OPH has advised the following:

OPH has been and continues to monitor the local COVID-19 situation very closely through various indicators, including:

  • Viral signal in wastewater 
  • Rates of testing and positivity 
  • Vaccination levels 
  • Active cases and ongoing outbreaks 
  • COVID-19 hospitalization rates in Ottawa  

Taken together, these monitoring indicators provide a picture of the levels of COVID-19 in the community and the risk of severe outcomes among Ottawa’s population.

OPH also continues to monitor school absenteeism rates closely. Although absenteeism rates are not specific to COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 is contributing to student and staff absences from school and the overall trends are considered.

We are encouraged by the fact that, in recent weeks, some of the monitoring indicators have stabilized and improved, however there continues to be a high level of COVID-19 in Ottawa. As such, OPH continues to strongly recommend that people wear masks in indoor settings, particularly in situations where physical distancing may be difficult or impossible.

There are no specific thresholds at which we would amend our recommendations, nor would we look at one indicator at the exclusion of others. Rather, we would want to see all indicators showing signs of decreasing COVID-19 transmission in our community. For the foreseeable future, we anticipate continuing to recommend that individuals at higher risk continue to use masks, along with other layers of protection, like vaccination. We are also working to foster kindness and consideration of the needs of people at higher risk.

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