Parents, teachers concerned over new school 14-day self-isolation policy in Saskatoon

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WATCH: A new policy from Saskatchewan Health Authority means students and staff in a class with a potential case of COVID-19 must now self-isolate for 14 days – Nov 24, 2020

A new policy could further disrupt an already difficult school year in Saskatoon’s major school divisions amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said students and staff in a class with a potential case of COVID-19 must now self-isolate for 14 days.

For Saskatoon mom Annette Prpic, she said she worries this new policy is doing more harm than good.

Read more: Coronavirus: NDP, STF call for more direction from Saskatchewan government on schools

Her teenage daughter, Kaeli, has been in her room for over a week.

The Grade 12 student at Saskatoon’s Centennial Collegiate is in self-isolation after someone in her biology class tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to an email from the school.

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Prpic said she worries about her daughter’s education; Kaeli has aspirations to become a doctor.

“She’s retaking some courses to get better marks, and now she’s being forced to go somewhat online,” she said.

“Is that what’s best for her? I don’t know.”

Prpic said she worries about students’ education and their mental health, amid the new policies. She said some of her daughter’s friends are self-isolating for a second time in less than a month.

“They have to go back to school once their isolation is done, and that could be within two days, right back into isolation again,” Prpic said.

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) told Global News some teachers are frustrated with the province that class sizes have not been reduced, while gatherings in public and private have been.

Read more: Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation claims Catholic school division memo flouts health guidelines

The STF is calling for mandatory masks in all schools across the province. President Patrick Maze also suggested “isolation daycares” specifically for younger children who need to self-isolate but can’t be left alone, so parents can still go to work.

He said he also wants recreational activities cut back for the time being.

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“If we’re going to still have bowling alleys running and casinos running and things that really aren’t necessary to the operation of our economy then we’re going to have increase instances where the virus … is entering into our schools,” he said.

The Saskatchewan Health authority did not return request for comment by deadline.

Meanwhile, Kaeli can’t leave her room until Friday at midnight. It’s a deadline that can’t come fast enough for the teen.

“(She’s) even asking if it can be before that,” her mom laughs. Unfortunately for Kaeli, she’ll have to wait for the stroke of midnight.

The family of five said they plan to decorate the house for Christmas once Kaeli can join them again.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.