Both school divisions in Saskatoon are mandating masks to be worn indoors for all students, staff members and visitors as of Tuesday.
Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS) cite the reason is driven by the Delta variant and increased cases of COVID-19 in the province over the past few weeks, according to separate Friday news releases.
GSCS says the decision was also made by recommendation of local medical health officers.
“While vaccinations have proven to be the most effective layer of protection against COVID-19, other layers of protection, including mask use, are required to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools,” GSCS said in the release.
SPS is also mandating masks inside all division buildings, including its board office and maintenance shop.
For students and families who don’t agree with the mask requirements, SPS is accepting registrations for online learning through Tuesday, the release said.
Both school divisions say the goal of this move is maintain in-person learning and keep students in the classroom.
Prior to the announcement the use of masks was only “strongly recommended” for high schools.