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Pediatricians and school health specialists are describing the Jason Kenney's plan to reopen schools as dangerous.

They're calling on the UCP to offer more support before classes start in September

THREAD #ableg #abhealth #abed #SafeSeptember #abdocs4pkids
"This UCP plan as it stands is essentially a large, human-scale experiment without safety nets to see what will happen to kids, their teachers & their respective families. - Dr. Tehseen Ladha, a pediatrician with a Master in Public Health

2/ #ableg #abhealth #abed #abdocs4kids
She said any notion by the UCP Government that children are unlikely to be infected by the virus is highly questionable, pointing to a recent study out of South Korea that found children over the age of 9 spread COVID-19 at a rate similar to adults.

3/ #ableg #abhealth #abed
Ladha also noted that Florida has seen a spike of 23% in COVID-19-related hospitalizations involving children.

4/ #ableg #abed #abhealth #SafeSeptember
What does she think we should do?

"First and foremost, we must cap class sizes. That is obvious, given what we know about COVID-19," Ladha said. "Parents should not have to decide between school and safety."

5/ #ableg #abhealth #abed #SafeSeptember #abdocs4kids
We put forward a 15-point, $1-billion plan to reopen schools as safely as possible during the pandemic.

“It may seem like a lot of money, but how do you put a price on the safety of 100s of 1000s of students, teachers & school staff?” - Ladha

6/ #abhealth #ableg #abed
The UCP Government has mocked our plan, which also calls for $220 million for PPE for students, as well as a rehiring of the 20,000 educational assistants fired by the UCP at the onset of the pandemic.

7/ #abhealth #ableg #abhealth #SafeSeptember #abdocs4kids
“Our plan is ambitious and will take a lot of work. We’re not saying physical distancing will only be achieved by hiring more teachers." - @shoffmanAB

8/ #abhealth #ableg #abed #SafeSeptember #abdocs4kids
"We have to get creative, we need more adults to help keep students safe and we need to approach municipal partners to secure additional space for classrooms that’s currently unused during the pandemic.” - @shoffmanAB

9/ #abhealth #abed #ableg #SafeSeptember #abdocs4kids
“The point is this Government must step up and do everything within their power to reopen our schools safely.”

10/ #ableg #abhealth #abed #SafeSeptember #abdocs4kids
Dr. Natalie Forbes, a pediatrician based out of #yyc, also noted that mental health supports are critical & that the UCP cut funding for Regional Collaborative Service Delivery (RCSD), which reduced access to therapists, speech pathologists & other health supports for students.
“The cuts to RCSD were a problem prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and I believe that problem will only get worse now,” Forbes said, adding she has families asking her for advice on what to do this fall.

12/ #ableg #abhealth #abed #SafeSeptember #abdocs4kids
“I really don’t know what to say. Medically, I can’t do anything. This is a very difficult situation for families & I think we need more supports in place for school reopening & more clarity for parents, teachers & school staff before we can reopen safely.” - Forbes 13/ #ableg
Dr. Kim Kelly worked for five years in family medicine & was a comprehensive school health specialist. She worries the Government hasn’t thought properly about how a school functions & the issues that arise when attempting to limit high-touch areas. 14/ #ableg #SafeSeptember
“There's a lack of sinks, a lack of physical space. Much more work must be done. Perhaps it involves bringing in portable sinks. More thinking must be done on how to create smaller school cohorts where we limit the number of peers a student comes into contact with.” - Kelly 15/
“There is no such thing as a zero-risk scenario when reopening schools. There will always be some risk.

But the UCP plan, in my opinion, is the government putting its head in the sand & not understanding the real risks.” - Kelly

16/ #ableg #SafeSeptember #abdocs4kids
NDP Health Critic @DShepYEG said clearly the UCP haven’t consulted with experts or the general public about what a safe reopening of Alberta’s schools looks like and the supports required to make it a reality.

17/ #ableg #abdocs4kids #abhealth #SafeSeptember #abed
“These medical professionals are speaking out in hopes of spurring change, of convincing this Government to take the safety of 740,000 students and tens of thousands of staff seriously." - @DShepYEG

18/ #ableg #abdocs4kids #abhealth #SafeSeptember #abed
We still have a month until classes resume.

There is time to improve on the situation the UCP has put themselves in.

19/ #ableg #abdocs4kids #abhealth #SafeSeptember #abed
"I know the doctors speaking out today & our NDP Opposition are ready & willing to help however we can but this Government needs to first accept that their plan is a massive failure that puts so many people at risk.” - @DShepYEG

/END #ableg #abdocs4kids #abhealth #SafeSeptember
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