News COVID-19: Schools should be ‘last to close, first to open,’ says MOH for our region SHARE ON: Bob McIntyre, staff Wednesday, Jan. 12th, 2022 (pixabay.com) In-school learning is back as of Monday, and that’s fine with Porcupine Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Lianne Catton. “I think it’s absolutely critical to have our kids back in school,” she states emphatically. Catton points to experts who say the negative impact of remote learning is quite evident, especially emotionally. “As a sector, public health has been very strong and very confident and consistent in our messaging that schools should always be the first to open and the last to close.” Dr. Catton says the spread will be minimal, adding that most cases in schools have been brought in from the community, and are not from in-school contact. “Kids are going to be wearing their three-layered masks, the screening tool has been updated with a little bit more specific questions and if we continue with the same layering of protections in schools that have worked throughout these past waves,” she remarks. “I think we are in good shape.” Catton adds that it’s all about reducing the risk as much as possible.