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Open Letter to the Ontario Ministries of Education; Health; and Children, Community and Social Services  (Click here to endorse)

Please consider sending your own personalized version of this to Ministers Lecce, Elliott and Smith, and to your own legislative representative.  We encourage you to speak from your heart, while drawing on some of the evidence we mention below.  

Some additional policy statements:

Dear Ministers Lecce, Elliott and Smith; 

Thank you for all you have done to maintain some form of education for Ontario’s children during the past few months.  We appreciate the complexity of the decisions, and know you have everyone’s best interests in mind.  

We are writing to express our concerns over the proposed framework for delivering education this fall.  We are very concerned about the potential of rigid re-opening protocols  We believe these protocols are no longer warranted given what we now know about this virus: 

  • Children are not the primary source of transmission. The known infection rate in children aged 0-19 years in Ontario is extremely low. 6.58% as of June 7, 2020.(1,2) 

  • Children with COVID-19 experience few or mild symptoms and deaths are rare; there have been no deaths due to COVID-19 in Canadian children.(3,4) This appears to be true even for children with pre-existing co-morbidities.(5)  

  • Children do not appear to be driving the spread of this virus.(5)

  • Mortality rates for COVID 19 are lower than first anticipated, and most greatly impact the elderly and adults with comorbidities.(6)  Infection mortality rates are estimated at 0.26% with over 80% of deaths occurring in long-term care homes.(1)

  • The risk of transmission via surfaces is not high.(7)

  • Excessive sanitization during childhood increases the risk of allergic disease.(8)

Children are, however, extremely vulnerable to anxiety and depression due to chronic stress, social isolation and the lack of routine associated with pandemic measures.(9,10) Continuing rigid protocols will reinforce fear and stress with significant potential for long-term mental and emotional trauma.   Optimal childhood development requires the creation of friendships, opportunities for peer collaboration, bonding with trusted adults, and the space to be creative and physically active together.  For children experiencing adversity at home, school may be one of the only safe places they know; promoting hypervigilance in the classroom (or denying them access to that space at all) exacerbates the toxic stress they already experience, leading to lifelong impacts on physical and mental health.  Restrictions due to COVID-19 disproportionately harm already marginalized children.(10)   

We ask that you take a hard look at the recently published data and insights from other countries and apply that valuable learning here in Ontario.  We are at a very different place than we were in March and universally restrictive measures no longer make any sense.  We ask you to:

  • Lift physical distancing measures for children

  • Relieve children and teachers from the need to wear masks so they can see each other’s faces

  • Recommence group physical activity opportunities for children

  • Allow sharing of materials and toys 

  • Encourage children to regularly wash their hands with soap and water, without overemphasizing extreme routines of sanitization

We strongly encourage you to fully reopen schools in September.  Let’s continue to safeguard the vulnerable (people with co-morbidities and the elderly) and reinstate our children’s former learning environment so they can continue to grow and thrive.

Click here for references.

Click here for list of endorsing individual and organizations.

Click here for images to share on social media.  We suggest that when you post, you add a link to this page and invite others to endorse our call.

Lift Restrictions on Kids: Who We Are
Lift Restrictions on Kids: Gallery

Endorsed by:

  1. Naturopathic Doctors for Environmental and Social Trust (NEST)

  2. Leslie Solomonian, ND, MPH (cand.)

  3. Jodie Peacock ND

  4. Dr. Kirsten Perley ND

  5. Christa Reed Kruger, ND

  6. Katy Bartle, Teacher

  7. Warriors Football Booster Club

  8. Dina Eino ND, RAc

  9. Sarah Wyer, ND

  10. Dina Eino ND, RAc

  11. Tammy O’Connor, BSW, MSW, RSW

  12. Dr. Lisa-Ann Bilinsky, ND

  13. Erika Schimek ND

  14. Dr. Carly Wendler BA.Sc, N.D.

  15. Andrew Baker

  16. Kim Kilgar

  17. Dr Alison D Coutts, DC

  18. Christian Betancourt

  19. Carrie Knuckey

  20. Amy Williams

  21. David Williams

  22. Kerry Gilman

  23. Sandra Min, OCT

  24. J.A. Archbold, OCT

  25. Yvonne Cummings B.Ed

  26. Beverley Parker Devlin

  27. Dr. Michelle Myszko, ND, BSc

  28. Labyrinth Holistic Healthcare

  29. Michelle Koning

  30. Karrie Bannerman

  31. Angela Jackson

  32. Donia Eino

  33. Huron Heights football

  34. Heath Weir - Teacher

  35. Jennifer Alexander

  36. Anne Pichora

  37. Sharon Wendler

  38. Alex Clendinning

  39. Marion Haughton

  40. Molly Scotchmer, nd

  41. Ryan Tackaberry

  42. Jen Elementary Teacher

  43. Janine Buisman Wilcox, ND

  44. Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

  45. Dr. Jeremy Toman ND

  46. Sarah Tayebi

  47. Shana Shubs

  48. Kerri-Lynn LaPointe, ND, DOMP

  49. Dr Caroline Meyer ND

  50. Karen Mendell

  51. Glow With Us Mobile Massage

  52. Dr. Jessica Bolzicco BSc, ND

  53. Jacki Higenbottam RMT

  54. Dalia Eino, MD

  55. Rich Long

  56. Lisa Neidrauer

  57. Margaret Rahn

  58. Carol Reed

  59. Dr. Joanna Thiessen, ND

  60. Kimberly Weir

  61. Pamela Elgersma

  62. Jennifer Malowney, DC

  63. Dr. Meghan MacKinnon ND

  64. Barb Weir

  65. Tessa Dubeau

  66. Kyle & Pam Arsenault

  67. Virginia Greig - OCT

  68. Sarah Oulahen Turner ND

  69. Gerry Martinez

  70. Dr. Cecilia de Martino, ND

  71. Jennifer Labelle

  72. Anthony Pusztai teacher elementary

  73. Natalie Vinet

  74. Andrea Cleaver ND

  75. Heather Murphy, Teacher

  76. Dr. Andrea Hornyak, N.D.

  77. Melissa Sulley

  78. Brian Perdue

  79. Lisa Laceby

  80. Denise Cooke RHN

  81. Hannah Lafayette-Brooks, ND

  82. Eleanor B Fuke, ND Retired

  83. Lisa Laceby

  84. Dr Nicole Sandilands ND

  85. Dr. Shelly Ordon, ND

  86. Julie Kelk

  87. Jodi Cabral

  88. Dr Morgan Winton, ND

  89. Dr. Stephanie Rubino ND

  90. Eric Ouellet, Ph.D.

  91. Sarah Ramage

  92. Laura Batson, ND

  93. Tony Di Donato

  94. Dr. Jessica Dupont, ND

  95. Samantha Sham

  96. Mark Johnstone

  97. Inga Layman

  98. Dr. Sarah Hawthorn ND R.Ac

  99. Dr Barbara Dao, ND

  100. York Region Lions Football Association

  101. Tanya Braund

  102. Wendy Lahey RN

  103. Darcy Clarmo

  104. Amanda Barry

  105. Alanna wolf

  106. Dr. Sarah Hawthorn ND R.Ac

  107. Nikki Fraser

  108. Brian Fraser

  109. Tatiana Grendus

  110. Carrie M - OCT

  111. Barbara Roberts

  112. Christine Grant

  113. Kristie Lestition

  114. Lauren Heffernan

  115. Alana Hawthorn BES

  116. Felicia Roberts Educational Assistant

  117. Jessie Hawthorn

  118. Anett Algacs

  119. Candace Kikkert, MSW

  120. Susan Azulay

  121. Dr. Barbara Weiss, ND

  122. Gord McCallum

  123. Kathleen Peters (teacher)

  124. Diana Bellehumeur R.N.( retired)

  125. Bronwen Alsop

  126. Beata Strzyzewska RHN

  127. Dr. Tracy Pan, ND

  128. Jessica Medeiros

  129. Kathryn, Kinesiologist

  130. Helen Rendl

  131. Sonia Tuck

  132. Elizabeth Brothers MSc, ND (inactive)

  133. Dr. Elizabeth Cherevaty ND

  134. Aditi chadha

  135. P. Guerrero, Law Clerk

  136. Jina Olberg

  137. Snezana Saunders

  138. DIna Rock

  139. Maria Lagunov

  140. Marijke, Stay-at-home Mother, (Former School Teacher)

  141. Amanda Jensen OCT

  142. Kim Kilgar

  143. "realtor"

  144. Dr Madeleine Elton, ND

  145. Dr Alison D Coutts, DC

  146. Christian Betancourt

  147. Carrie Knuckey

  148. Amy Williams

  149. David Williams

  150. Kerry Gilman

  151. Sandra Min, OCT

  152. J.A. Archbold, OCT

  153. Yvonne Cummings B.Ed

  154. Beverley Parker Devlin

  155. Kristan Graham

  156. Jodie Tatlock

  157. Valerie Elton

  158. Dr. Lorraine Caruso, ND, MSW

  159. Vesna Miuca

  160. Zoran Miuca

  161. Jennifer Duggan

  162. Michelle Cali, ND

  163. Courtney Riddell (camp administrator)

  164. Anna O’Malley

  165. Joanne Grozelle, MBA

  166. Maryellen Tedeschi, ND

  167. Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND

  168. Jennifer Keller ND

  169. Dr Daria Love, DC, ND

  170. Shelley Gibbs, ND

  171. Erica Eckstrand, HBSc

  172. Alysha Maxwell

  173. Nadia Wedge

  174. Rachelle Moncur

  175. Dave Schenkel DC

  176. Scott Weir

  177. Aliyah Alibhai, ND

  178. Elizabeth Stewart

  179. Pam Manning DC

  180. Dr. Jessica Liu, ND

  181. Dr. Tracy Cook, ND

  182. Dr. Laura Margaritis ND

  183. Eloise du Plessis

  184. Rachael Aiken

  185. Felicia Assenza, ND

  186. Bronwen Alsop

  187. Stacy Groenestege

  188. Dara Mussar, Doula

  189. Taryn

  190. Dr. Natalie Bernicky

  191. Erin Lindeboom

  192. Christine DeGier

  193. Barbara Wilcox OCT elementary

  194. Paula Parker. Elementary school teacher

  195. Lesley Hill, RN, BScN, Public Health Nurse

  196. Jennifer Hillier, ND (inactive)

  197. Ceri Sumner, OCT

  198. Anne Trzcinski

  199. Kailey Hawthorn

  200. Nicole Marone

  201. Rick Brooks

  202. Janna Ecclestone

  203. Stephanie Slater

  204. Dr Breanne Kallonen ND

  205. Jeannette Fitzpatrick

  206. Maja Kulic - dental hygienist

  207. ROBYN M

  208. Tarrah Young

  209. Helen Ysselstein

  210. Renata Dziak M.Sc.

  211. Martha can Berkel

  212. Mary Peric, ND

  213. Joanne Anderson

  214. Emma, Teacher

  215. Claire Stevens

  216. Dave Stevens

  217. Dr. Mariam Jamous, ND

  218. Cynthia Solowiejczyk, OCT

  219. Sarah Buisman, OCT

  220. Dr. Jennifer Drummond, ND

  221. Mary Jo Wheeler-Ali - OCT

  222. Eliza Corso RECE

  223. Melanie smidt

  224. Dorothy Geerlinks

  225. Renee Gouveia

  226. Myriam Cottard

  227. Carol Wheeler-retired teacher

  228. Dr. Mariam Jamous, ND

  229. Dr. Jacinta Willems, Naturopathic Doctor

  230. Heather Steenstra

  231. Rebecca Thompson

  232. Judy Lambers

  233. Anita Dreise

  234. Kara Kennedy

  235. Deserae Noone

  236. Dr. Ana Candia, ND

  237. Christel Mikelic teacher

  238. Kyra Aylsworth

  239. Dr. Alyssa Shepherd DC MSc

  240. Danielle Crawford

  241. Simone Coulter RN

  242. Danelle

  243. Justine Lombardi, OCT

  244. Dr. Anita Kieswetter ND

  245. Christina H

  246. Natalie kruzic

  247. Debbie Smrz, ND

  248. Kristina MacRory - RN

  249. Kinga Babicki-Farrugia

  250. Danielle - Early Childhood Educator

  251. Dr. Lisa Vecchi, ND

  252. Katy Groves

  253. Ilana Katz, Speech-Language Pathologist

  254. Jo-Anne Schyvenaars, Spec. Ed Teacher

  255. Dr. Danielle DeBlock, ND

  256. Adam Prinsen ND

  257. Fiona Batte

  258. Laura Cook

  259. Melanie Grime

  260. dave sumner Retired, Grand Parent

  261. Jonathan Beatty ND

  262. Heather Jones

  263. Jennifer Reaburn

  264. Andrea Fitzgerald

  265. Katherine Peloso Smith RHN

  266. Lori Brooks Early Childhood Educator in Full Day Kindergarten

  267. Lyudmila Sivak

  268. Elly Jenkyns ND

  269. Lyudmila Sivak, JD

  270. Holly Nguyen

  271. Kym T, artist, advocate for truth freedom & health

  272. Alicja Kukielczynska, R.D.H

  273. Astrit Toffolo

  274. Pamela M. Engler

  275. Emmy Pickering

  276. Candice Greatrix

  277. Johanna - Teacher

  278. Alison Richards

  279. Nicole Imeneo

  280. Angela Sergio

  281. Joseph Turturici

  282. Alicia Turturici

  283. Leslie J Stephens

  284. Erin Fabiano

  285. Wendy Taylor

  286. Marie , OCT

  287. Ashley (Teacher and Mom)

  288. Kevin Snow

  289. Julia Giang OCT

  290. Vince Imeneo

  291. Dr. Janice Wu, ND and Doula

  292. Marie , OCT

  293. Lindsay Bast, ND

  294. Karen Weyler RECE

  295. Jeremiah Blake

  296. Marissa Cain

  297. Kevin Snow

  298. Andrea ashamalla

  299. Megan Williams

  300. Angela Sergio

  301. Click here to add your name as an organization or individual

Lift Restrictions on Kids: Text


1.  Epidemiological Summary of Covid-19 Cases June 7, 2020.

2.  Epidemiology of COVID-19 among Children in China. Pediatrics 2020:e20200702  doi:10.1542/peds.2020-0702 pmid:

3.  Covid-19 and Children, Centre for Disease Control

4.  COVID19 - What We Know So Far About Infection in Children

5.  Munro APS, Faust SN. Children are not COVID-19 super spreaders: time to go back to school. Archives of Disease in Childhood Published Online First: 05 May 2020. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2020-319474

6. Coronavirus Age, Sex, Demographics (COVID-19)   

7. Transmission of Covid on Surfaces

8.  Gupta V, Kumar R, Sood U, Singhvi N. Reconciling Hygiene and Cleanliness: A New Perspective from Human Microbiome. Indian J Microbiol. 2020;60(1):37‐44. doi:10.1007/s12088-019-00839-5

9.  Lee J. Mental health effects of school closures during COVID-19 [published correction appears in Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2020 Apr 17;:]. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2020;4(6):421. doi:10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30109-7

10. United Nations Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on children

Lift Restrictions on Kids: Text
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