Expert explains how to minimize spreading COVID-19 in schools
BARRIE, ONT. -- With less than four weeks before schools reopen in Ontario, there are many questions about COVID-19 and what to expect.
CTV's Madison Erhardt chats with Collingwood General and Marine Hospital's Chief of Staff, Dr. Michael Lisi.
Madison: Experts say outbreaks at schools may be impossible to avoid altogether. What are the best practices schools and students can take to minimize the spread?
Dr. Lisi: It's going to come down to implementing the three pillars of infection control.
So, one, wearing masks for as many students as possible. Two, keeping physical distancing in school and three, frequent hand washing all adapted to the school environment.
A lot of the changes will be common across schools, such as minimizing hallway traffic and staggered recess to try to reduce any form of crowding.
Madison: Ontario's numbers continue to decline, are we still looking at a potential second wave?
Dr. Lisi: Yes. When the weather starts to get cold, and people start to move indoors, cases will almost certainly start to rise as the virus does spread 20 times faster indoors then it does outdoors.
This is likely one of the reasons the southern U.S. is being hit so hard. Many places like Texas and Arizona [they] move largely indoors during the summer looking for air-conditioned spaces.
Madison: Is it possible the virus could disappear without a vaccine?
Dr. Lisi: This happened with SARS and because it was caught very early, but at this point, the virus is so widespread that it would be extremely unlikely.
Madison: What is the update on the vaccine front?
Dr. Lisi: Across the world, scientists continue to make progress, so we are likely going to see a vaccine in 2021.
However, the crux is going to be will the vaccines that manage to prove safe and effective in the clinical trials, we are going to see how effective those are going to be as time moves on.
This is why Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Teressa Tam, is trying to emphasize that we are in this for the long hall, and what that means is people need to be prepared to keep paying attention to the three pillars we have talked about.