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Plan for inevitable COVID-19 cases in schools, says chief public health officer

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam and Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, hold a press conference in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says families should expect to see cases of COVID-19 in schools as children head back to class in the coming weeks.

Dr. Theresa Tam says it is important that each school have a plan and that everyone knows what to do when there’s an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

At a media briefing in Ottawa today, she says it is normal to feel stressed about the fact many students are returning to classrooms.

But she emphasizes that planning and awareness can help ease anxiety.

Tam says while Canada generally has quite low levels of COVID-19, it doesn’t mean families won’t have lots of questions about being back in a classroom.

She says parents face difficult decisions and that carefully weighing the risks and benefits is of paramount importance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press