Change June 3 PD Day to June 2

Change June 3 PD Day to June 2

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Christine Guptill started this petition

On June 2, there will be a provincial election. On that day, many OCDSB schools will be used as polling stations.

No children under age 5 have been vaccinated. Only 53% of children ages 5-11 have had a second dose, and only 28% have had a 3rd dose. Among younger staff-age residents, the rate of 3rd doses ranges between 44 (19-29 yo) and 64% (40-49 yo). Without a 3rd dose, resistance to infection from Omicron is not very good (about 9%). In addition, there is now evidence that unvaccinated people pose more risk to people who are vaccinated. We are not as well protected as we should be. This is part of the reason why OCDSB re-instated mask requirements in schools. 

Masking is great, but it’s not perfect, and it’s not all the time. Some masks fit and filter better than others. Students take their masks off to eat lunch. Many are still only allowed to eat indoors. Despite efforts by the  Board to improve ventilation, the COVID virus is airborne, and can spread from the from lobby and gym to the classrooms. Elections ON has indicated that they will not require vaccines or masks for people to enter the buildings to vote. Even if they require masks, there is increased risk to children and staff that is not needed while our hospitals are full and our healthcare workers are overstretched due to staff absences and illness. 

Additionally, elections pose an increased safety risk. While having an election in the building can be an excellent learning opportunity, it also brings members of the public into a building with children. Use of facilities like gyms and washrooms takes those facilities away from students and staff. 

The safest and most reasonable solution is to move the PD Day on June 4 back to the June 2 election date.

Please help us to encourage the OCDSB to make this move, and to continue to arrange PD days for elections that must take place in school buildings in the future.

 

REFERENCES 

  1. Vaccination coverage by age for Ottawa residents: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/reports-research-and-statistics/COVID-19_Vaccination_Dashboard.aspx
  2. Un-vaccinated people pose higher risk to vaccinated: https://www.cmaj.ca/content/194/16/E573
  3. Two doses is not effective against Omicron infection: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2119451
  4. Health care system capacity: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/reports-research-and-statistics/daily-covid19-dashboard.aspx CBC News article about CHEO: https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.6427675
  5. Image of people voting in a school gym: Getty images, posted at https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2016/11/08/my-polling-place-your-voting-location-affects-how-you-vote.html
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