Recommendation to suspend extra-curricular activities in Fort Frances area

Press release

Upon closure of two Fort Frances elementary schools this week due to COVID-19, Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) recommends the immediate suspension of all indoor extra-curricular activities for those aged 4-11 in the Fort Frances, Emo, and Rainy River areas.

“Indoor extracurricular activities should not take place currently in these communities. During many of these types of activities, children are often unmasked, and physical distancing cannot be maintained, which increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Considering the current heightened risk in the area, particularly in this age group, I do not recommend participation,” says Dr. Kit Young Hoon, Medical Officer of Health at NWHU.

The recommendation is in place until public health officials determine that the risk has subsided. Due to the large number of students currently in self-isolation due to the school closures, this recommendation should not impact many children in the short-term. “I recognize that extracurricular activities have positive impact on our children’s mental and physical well-being, however, at this time, I believe the risk of COVID-19 outweighs the benefits of participation,” says Dr. Young Hoon. “The recommendation will be rescinded as soon as it is believed that the elevated risk has ended,” adds Dr. Young Hoon.