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Ottawa’s largest school board postpones mask mandate decision after heated meeting

Roughly 95 per cent of staff who responded to an initial survey of vaccination status at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board said they were fully vaccinated. Some 15 per cent of staff have yet to attest to their status. Craig Lord / Global News

Ottawa’s largest school board has postponed making a decision about wearing masks in schools after a heated debate.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board held a special meeting Tuesday night that became chaotic after disruptions from people who showed up to oppose reinstating a mask mandate in classrooms.

Videos posted online show the meeting devolved into shouting, and a school board trustee said the police were called twice to clear out disruptive protesters.

Read more: Ottawa public school board trustees vote to implement mask mandate

The push for masking comes after a rise in COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza cases in children’s hospitals across the province.

Ontario’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, has strongly encouraged masking but the province has not made it mandatory.

The school board has not set a new date to continue the debate about mask-wearing.

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