As we write this Easter message, we are aware that due to COVID restrictions, Easter 2021 will not be as you and your family hoped. We understand it is stressful to prepare for Easter around the ever-changing restrictions of COVID.
Province-wide “Emergency Brake Shutdown”
Today, the Premier announced a province-wide emergency brake shutdown. Schools will remain open for in-person learning with strict safety measures during the emergency shutdown. Students already enrolled in the virtual programs will continue as well. Students will return to school after the Easter Break on Tuesday, April 6. The planned April Break for April 12-16 will go ahead as scheduled.
Ottawa Public Health is Asking for Your Help
Our work to help end this virus is not over, and we must continue to listen to the medical experts and follow their advice. Since the pandemic began last March, we have looked to Ottawa Public Health (OPH) for direction, and we continue to do so. As Easter draws closer, OPH asked us to remind everyone that our actions make a difference.
Need for Screening and Testing Continues
COVID-19 doesn’t take a holiday even if we have a long weekend. Please continue to screen or monitor your children for COVID-19 symptoms. If your child or anyone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19 and is waiting for test results, ALL of your household contacts must self-isolate until a negative test result comes back. This means that no one can attend child-care, school, work and/or leave for groceries. Please reach out to family or friends to drop some things off if you need essential items. For more information and resources, visit the Self-isolation Instructions for COVID-19 webpage.
Please Don’t Gather this Easter
Please do not get together with family and friends this long weekend. Medical experts say social gatherings are what is causing the rise in COVID infections. There are other ways that we can connect with family to celebrate. OPH recommends hosting a virtual gathering; set up a phone, tablet or laptop around the dinner table to reach out to those outside your household. Please review the OPH social wise page for more information.
Keeping Children Safe
In keeping with OPH’s advice, please do not encourage playdates or sleepovers over the Easter holiday. Transmission is happening in our communities, and doing so could result in spreading the disease.
Some Things Stay the Same – Wear a Mask!
OPH highly recommends wearing a mask for outdoor recreational activities that do not allow you to keep a two-metre (six feet) distance from others, like using play structures, for example.
A year into the pandemic, we have seen remarkable resilience in our OCSB Family. Focusing on what we can do rather than what we can’t do has elevated our sense of community. We have found innovative ways to learn, live and practice our faith, such as attending mass online. We are checking in virtually with family and friends around the corner and around the globe to ensure they are well. Yet, I know it has not been easy! Thank you! On behalf of the Ottawa Catholic School Board, we wish you and your family a Blessed and Joyous Easter.