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Schools should be fully open next year, with a few restrictions

As summer starts for school students throughout the territory, those returning to class should be able to look forward to a normal school year this fall.

Dr. Kami Kandola, NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer, says schools should be able to return with only a few restrictions in place.

“We are going to limit areas where we could have transmission and potential operations, those are going to be massive assemblies or higher risk activities initially, but once we’ve achieved a higher level of population coverage, we will lift all restrictions,” she said.

Kandola said those restrictions should be lifted around October.

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In-class learning was offered for all students throughout the territory this year, with optional distance learning if parents chose to.

Kandola has maintained that schools remain higher risk locations for spread of COVID-19, after an outbreak at N.J. Macpherson led to the shutdown of schools in Yellowknife, Ndilǫ, Dettah and Behchokǫ̀ and 71 cases being reported.
Kandola says the territory is waiting to see the results of clinical testing being done for Pfizer vaccines on children aged between 5 and 11 years-old.

If the vaccines are approved, Kandola said restrictions on funerals and other larger indoor gatherings will be lifted.

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