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Cautious optimism as fewer COVID-19 cases in Alberta schools: teachers’ association

Image of an elementary school classroom Jan. 27, 2022. Getty Images

The president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association says he is cautiously optimistic after seeing COVID-19 cases go down in classrooms a little over a week after the province lifted a mask mandate in schools.

But Jason Schilling says a major lesson he learned about the pandemic is that some waves have worsened after a brief downward trend so the association will continue paying close attention to case numbers.

Read more: Reality check on Alberta politicians’ statements on schools, COVID-19 transmission and vaccines

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said on Twitter that none of the more than 2,500 schools in Alberta are currently shifted to temporary at-home learning to address operational challenges brought on by the virus.

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On Feb. 14, students in Alberta were no longer required to wear face coverings and Premier Jason Kenney said the province would lift all pandemic restrictions in the coming weeks if COVID-19 indicators remain stable or trend downward.

Click to play video: 'Alberta students return to class with no mask mandate' Alberta students return to class with no mask mandate
Alberta students return to class with no mask mandate – Feb 14, 2022

Children 12 and under are no longer required to wear masks in any setting.

As students returned to schools with the option to ditch the mask, some parents, students and teachers said they were concerned the lack of protection would exacerbate the number of infections in classrooms.

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