From: The Nova Scotia Pediatric Advisory Group
1) School is the best place for children and teens to learn and receive needed education and social supports. The risks to children and youth from not providing in-class learning outweigh the current risks related to Covid. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people have caught infections mainly in the community and not from school contact. We recognize the Omicron virus may also spread in schools, but community and family gatherings are more likely to result in widespread infection.
2) For the vast majority of children and teenagers, COVID infections are mild, and long term symptoms are infrequent. Hospitalizations in Nova Scotia for children with COVID have been rare, and admitted patients have had mild symptoms. In contrast, significant numbers (100’s) of ill children are admitted to NS hospitals annually with influenza and RSV viral infections.
3) The best ways to protect your child and family include:
4) Be prepared in case one or more of your family members has a COVID infection. In the coming weeks, even mild illness may be disruptive to families, child care arrangements, workplaces, schools and the healthcare system. Please see the attached guidelines for preparing, and caring for your child or family member at home with COVID.
5) Our IWK Health and Nova Scotia Health Regional Pediatric and Mental Health teams are always prepared to offer world class care for your child if they become significantly ill for any reason; our Emergency Departments remain open to all. Most children with COVID will have a mild illness, and will not need to see a doctor or come to the Emergency Department.
6) We are grateful to our colleagues in education and public health for their dedication and hard work during this pandemic. We encourage the Nova Scotia Teachers Union & education leaders to continue working closely with Public Health, to share concerns, and design timely, best-evidence, feasible solutions to manage risks and maximize benefits for our students, staff and communities.
7) We are also grateful to parents and caregivers who are doing their best to understand the changing pandemic, protect their families, and promote their children’s best interests. We know there are lots of concerns and worries out there. Child health providers across the Province are following this situation closely.
Be kind to one another, and tough on the virus.
NS Pediatric Pandemic Advisory Group:
Dr. Alexa Bagnell (IWK Chief of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)
Dr. Tara Chobotuk (IWK Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Chief of Community Pediatrics- Central Zone)
Dr. Jeannette Comeau (IWK Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist and Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control)
Dr. Joanna Holland (IWK General Pediatrics & Hospital Medicine)
Dr. Katharine Kellock (Community Pediatrician-Sydney)
Dr Mike Nash (Chief of Pediatrics - Valley Regional Hospital, Kentville)
Dr Sarah Shea (IWK Developmental Pediatrics)
Dr. Andrew Lynk (IWK Chief of Pediatrics)