Some parents say students in Ontario received ill-fitted masks upon return to schools
Some parents in Ontario are raising concerns about the three-ply cloth masks their children received from schools this week, saying the masks are too big and not protective enough against the highly-contagious Omicron variant.
The provincial government said it would be providing school staff with N95 masks and students with three-ply cloth masks as in-person learning resumed this week.
A spokeswoman said the province sends a mix of sizes to boards, which have the flexibility to place varying orders for the sizes their students need. A few boards said the masks they received were too big for some young children and said they were working on addressing the issue.
In Guelph, Ont., Nathan Poulton said his two kids - aged four and six - received one three-ply cloth mask each from school, but the mask doesn't fit his younger son's face well.
"It fits one kid and ΓÇª just kind of sags off the other kid's face," he said. "It is adjustable, but the size difference between a four-year-old and a six-year-old's faces is pretty big."
Poulton said he recently purchased child-sized N95 masks for his kids, and plans to give them those to use instead, since they fit better and are higher grade masks.
The Upper Grand District School Board in Guelph said the board has heard "some comments that the masks are too big for some students."
Spokeswoman Heather Loney said school administrators have been reminded "to ensure the fit of the cloth masks and to make every effort to ensure that students receive an appropriately sized mask when distributed."
The board said it received the masks from the Ministry of Education based on the enrollment numbers - children in kindergarten received "child" masks, those in Grades 1 to 6 received "youth" masks, while students in Grades 7 and 8 received "adult" masks. The board has also purchased additional student masks to ensure "readily available and additional size options," Loney said.
The Durham District School Board also said it noticed some masks shipped from the province were "too large for most students" and said it had requested smaller masks.
In the Toronto area, Jenna Leon said her seven-year-old daughter received one mask this week that was "way too big" and called the quality of it "mediocre."
"The upper part is too big to go up her nose. The width is too loose and floppy. The ties for the ears don't do anything to tighten the mask," she said.
Leon said her daughter will wear medical masksthe family purchased until N95 masks she ordered arrive at their home.
"It's so hard to understand how this is layers of robust protection for my child at school," she said of the mask her daughter received at a school in the Halton Catholic District School Board.
The Halton board did not respond to a request for comment.
Kristen Fenlon, whose two kids attend a school in the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, said the masks her children received are also far too big.
"I would say they're probably an extra large size ... they didn't even fit me," she said, adding that her children will be wearing the higher grade medical masks she purchased.
The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board said it hadn't received any complaints from parents and "had no input on sizes or quantities" of masks sent by the province.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the government sends "pro-active allocations to boards" with a mix of sizes.
Caitlin Clark said when boards place orders for the masks, "they have the flexibility to order whatever volume in whatever size they would like and need for their student populations."
"With even more shipments of varying sizes on the way, we encourage boards to work with students to ensure they're receiving the right size option," she said.
Clark noted that Ontario is following the expert advice of the chief medical officer of health, Children's Health Coalition and Ontario's Science Table "regarding PPE use to protect schools and reduce risk for students and staff."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021.
Toronto Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The police official blamed for not sending officers in more quickly to stop the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting is the chief of the school system's small police force, a unit dedicated ordinarily to building relationships with students and responding to the occasional fight.
Speakers at the National Rifle Association annual meeting assailed a Chicago gun ban that doesn't exist, ignored security upgrades at the Texas school where children were slaughtered and roundly distorted national gun and crime statistics as they pushed back against any tightening of gun laws.
Fifty-eight-year-old Vivian Ketchum is set to receive her high school diploma at a graduation ceremony at the University of Winnipeg next month. It is a moment that is decades in the making.
The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos was met with justifiable criticisms and unfounded conspiracy theories.
An 11-year-old survivor of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, feared the gunman would come back for her so she smeared herself in her friend's blood and played dead.
Students trapped inside a classroom with a gunman repeatedly called 911 during this week's attack on a Texas elementary school, including one who pleaded, 'Please send the police now,' as officers waited more than an hour to breach the classroom after following the gunman into the building, authorities said Friday.
Fragments of a comet broken nearly 30 years ago could potentially light up the night sky Monday as experts predict an 'all or nothing' spectacle.
A new report says Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto rank among the top 20 cities around the world when it comes to work-life balance.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the federal government is working with groups on the ground to resolve air travel 'bottlenecks' in time for a busy summer.
Is it unconstitutional to make someone pay to get a legal document translated into French? One of Montreal's top lawyers thinks so, and pointed out two other things from Bill 96 that he thinks the courts would most easily find fault with.
Canada's highest court has ruled that Alexandre Bissonnette, who murdered six people at the Quebec City mosque in 2017, will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
Quebec says it is ready to vaccinate people who have come into close contact with monkeypox as soon as Friday.
Saturday’s powerful storm left a lasting impact across Ontario as city crews continue to deal with the damage. Western University’s Northern Tornado Project reported that two EF-1 tornadoes touched down in London — and on Friday, Environment Canada confirmed it.
A London man is facing impaired-related charges after a vehicle he was driving collided with a gravel truck on Wednesday morning, according to police.
The London Police Service is requesting the public’s help with locating a person of interest after a gun was fired on Richmond Row in the early morning hours of Friday.
A man, who was a referee at high school volleyball games in Guelph for more than 30 years, is facing sex assault-related charges.
The Region of Waterloo says there's a high safety risk at a Kitchener encampment and they are working with residents to prepare them for their eventual move.
Two low-cost airlines are butting heads over an agreement at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Swoop wants to offer flights but the airport already has an exclusivity deal with rival Flair Airlines
Thursday evening, the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce hosted the 25th annual Bell Business Excellence Awards.
On Friday, there was a walk in Sudbury to remember the remains of 215 residential schoolchildren found in Kamloops, B.C., a year ago May 27.
Staff at the new Sault Metis Centre are getting set for the grand opening Saturday.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Here's what we know about the storm cleanup in Ottawa today
Hydro Ottawa is not committing to a new deadline to restore power to thousands of customers, one week after a devastating storm with wind gusts of 190 km/h hit Ottawa.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | What you need to know about Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend
It's the first in-person Ottawa Race Weekend in Ottawa since 2019, after the 2020 and 2021 events were shifted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Friday evening, 26,000 Hydro Ottawa customers remain without power in all neighbourhoods of the city.
Windsor police are asking for the public’s help identify a driver who fled after a rollover crash.
'Just do Mable things': Father of 18-year-old Pain Court crash victim shares memories of his daughter
It’s been a long and sorrow-filled week for the extended families of Mable Baker, an 18-year-old Chatham-Kent woman who was involved in a fatal car crash last weekend.
A local musician will be back on stage for the 16th annual 24-Hour Drum Marathon.
On the final day of the Paul Sadlon sexual assault trial, the defence called the complainant's allegations "straight out lies" and "not believable at all."
Provincial police are searching for a missing senior who went for a walk with his two dogs on trails behind his home in Springwater Township Thursday afternoon.
An Aurora couple is making plans to buy a house after winning the lottery.
A Cape Breton father is warning the public of the dangers in the area he lives after his teenager son fell nearly 40 feet over a cliff in Glace Bay.
A lawyer for families of victims killed in the Nova Scotia mass shooting says an 18-hour delay in finding five bodies of those murdered is a sign of "deficient" policing.
The lawyer who represented a man who murdered three RCMP officers nearly eight years ago in Moncton, N.B., said a decision made by the Supreme Court of Canada Friday may potentially change his sentence.
A southern Alberta man who killed three people, including a two-year-old girl, could have the ability to request a release from jail earlier than his original sentence intended, thanks to a landmark Supreme Court decision Friday.
Calgary Flames fans are still coming to terms with a playoff series loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night in a game that saw both controversy and heartbreak following a Connor McDavid overtime goal.
Western Canada's premiers want to reform their health-care systems by expanding services but they say Ottawa first needs to pick up the phone.
Pembina Trails School Division is confirming to CTV News that a group of students found a body during community cleanup at Ècole South Pointe School.
Winnipeg police are telling people to find an alternate route this afternoon as they are investigating a fatal crash near the St. Boniface Industrial Park.
'It's one way to be creative': Winnipeg student wants to be a bartender when older; school doesn't like comment in yearbook
Bartender. That is what one Grade 4 student said for the yearbook when asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, an answer the school is asking him to change.
A B.C. mom with a rare, debilitating illness has spent years trying to get the help she needs. Now she's considering medical assistance in dying.
The number of COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals hit its lowest point in more than a month this week, and the decline was driven largely by regions outside the Lower Mainland.
Researchers working in partnership with UBC believe an eco-friendly material could help solve the world’s plastic pollution problem.
A hotly-controversial decision on whether or not to freeze base funding for police in Edmonton was delayed Friday as fallout from a dispute between the mayor and the provincial justice minister continued to rattle political circles.
A 19-year-old man is in police custody after a shooting near Rogers Place after an Edmonton Oilers viewing party ended Thursday evening.
A shelter many expected to remain open until the end of June in Wetaskiwin, Alta., will close a month early.