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Ontario should ‘strongly’ look at easing masking requirements in schools, Brampton mayor says

Click to play video: 'Brampton Mayor calls for an end to mask mandates for students' Brampton Mayor calls for an end to mask mandates for students
WATCH: Brampton Mayor calls for an end to mask mandates for students – Feb 23, 2022

Ontario should “strongly” look at easing masking requirements in schools, Brampton’s mayor said Wednesday.

During his weekly COVID-19 update, Patrick Brown highlighted Quebec’s recent announcement that masking requirements in that province’s classrooms would be lifted starting on March 7.

Quebec students will still be required to wear masks in common areas and on school buses.

Read more: Quebec to lift classroom mask requirements for COVID-19 after March break

“I’m very encouraged that the Quebec public health is going (in) this direction,” Brown said.

“I think it’s appropriate to get children back to normal where they can learn in an environment that is easier and more comfortable…. I believe that Ontario should strongly look at this.

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“The province has experienced very strong vaccination rates and it certainly sets up an environment where we can make these moves to get back to normal.”

Click to play video: 'Brampton mayor says Ontario should look at easing masking requirements in schools' Brampton mayor says Ontario should look at easing masking requirements in schools
Brampton mayor says Ontario should look at easing masking requirements in schools – Feb 23, 2022

Brown talked about his own son, who is two-and-a-half years old, and has to wear a mask at soccer lessons.

“Trying to get a toddler to wear a mask is impossible and unreasonable,” Brown said.

Read more: Ontario mask mandate will likely be reviewed in March, top doctor says

Ontario currently mandates masking for students in Grades 1 through 12 in classes, hallways, and on school vehicles.

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The province doesn’t mandate masks for kindergarten students, though encourages them to wear one. School boards may also implement their own masking policies for kindergarten students.

Students aren’t required to wear a mask outdoors.

Last week, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore said the province’s mask mandate will likely be reviewed for all settings in March.

Moore said he anticipated a review will be done in the second or third week of March, allowing for data to be reviewed after the province lifts capacity limits and the proof of vaccination requirement on March 1.

— With files from Kalina Laframboise and Raquel Fletcher

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