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Toronto doctors launch program to support local teachers with back-to-school

Educational staff are now a first line of defence against the spread of COVID-19, and many doctors are eager to share what they learned during the first wave of the pandemic.
By: Madeleine Hall
September 14, 2020
Photo: Michael Garron Hospital

It’s a back-to-school season like we’ve never seen before thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a group of Toronto doctors are stepping up to support regional schools and teachers who are welcoming students back this September amid challenging circumstances.

Physicians are uniquely positioned to both understand the challenges teachers and other educational workers are facing this fall, and directly support them as they endeavour to keep themselves and their students safe. “We really remember how stressful and demanding it was during those early months in February, March, April,” Dr. Janine McCready, an infectious diseases physician at Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital, told the Toronto Star. “How we were working through things with our staff, and trying to keep everyone safe.”

Doctors at Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital and the East Toronto Family Practice Network will be supporting teachers and principals by leading regular virtual town halls with over 70 local schools. A group of those deemed at a higher risk for COVID-19 transmission will be paired up with an individual physician who will act as a direct line of support to school staff. Other initiatives that comprise the program include pop-up community testing at schools for staff and students.

Sources: Toronto Star, Twitter

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