harmful to humans and other animals. The blooms are a natural occurrence around the world and tend to appear in warm, shallow, undisturbed water that gets lots of sunlight and is also rich in phosphorus and nitrogen. Animal and human waste and many fertilizers contain these two chemicals and can increase the chance of blue-green algae blooms if they get into local lakes and streams through surface runoff or leaching through the ground. Cyanobacteria toxins can cause skin irri- tation and, if swallowed, result in diarrhea BOEWPNJUJOH)JHIMFWFMDPODFOUSBUJPOTPG the toxin can cause damage to the liver and

nervous system. 5IF&0)6VSHFT SFTJEFOUT MJWJOHOFBS lakes and streams or going out for boating or fishing trips to watch for algae blooms in the water. Dense blooms make the water resemble pea soup and can appear in shades of blue, blue-green, yellow, brown, or red. Large blooms may include solid-looking clumps of algae. Fresh blooms may smell like fresh-cut grass while older blooms smell like rotting garbage. Anyone who lives anywhere near where a suspected bloom exists should avoid using any surface water for drinking, cooking, bathing or showering. They should not allow children, pets, or livestock to swim in or drink the water. Clean water and soap should be used to scrub off any water that may contain blue-green algae that has come in contact with the skin. Boiling such water does not remove the toxins and may cause the algae to release NPSF UPYJOT8BUFSKVHàMUSBUJPOTZTUFNT are not designed to screen out the toxins. Furthermore, using chlorine bleach or other disinfectants will cause the algae cells to break open and release toxins into the water.

The regional health unit has received reports of toxic blue-green algae in some local streams and lakes. 5IF&BTUFSO0OUBSJP)FBMUI6OJU &0)6  issued an alert about blooms of blue-green BMHBFJOTPNFSJWFSTBOEMBLFTJO&BTUFSO 0OUBSJP3FTJEFOUTXIPVTFTVSGBDFXBUFS as their drinking source or who go swimming in local rivers or lakes should be cautious if there is blue-green algae in the water. Blue-green algae blooms, also known as cyanobacteria blooms, may have toxins

11 start, with all students confirmed for in-class schooling to be in their assigned classrooms by September 15. The revised guide also includes informa- tion on the secondary quadmester setup for UCDSB high schools and a new secondary school calendar for staff and students. There is also new information on remote learning options for home-school students. The UCDSB also now has a mask exemp- tion process for students who not able to follow the mandatory masking protocol when in school. Parents who want their children exemp- ted from the protocol must complete the $07*%NBTLFYFNQUJPO GPSNBWBJMBCMF through the UCDSB website and submit it to the school principal. This must be done first before the child attends a school without wearing a mask. Reports of blue-green algae blooms seen in some streams and lakes have prompted a warning from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. Blue-green algae often contains toxins harmful to humans and other animals. —stock photo Finally, one should not eat any fish caught in water where blue-green algae blooms FYJTU/PSTIPVMEBOZàTIPSHBOTDPNJOH from such waters be used as bait or fertilizer as they have absorbed the toxins. 5IF.JOJTUSZPG&OWJSPONFOUIBTNPSF information on blue-green algae at http:// blue-green-algae.

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Back to school time for students at Upper Canada district schools starts this Friday. Trustees for the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) received the revised Return to School Guide from administration during a September 2 special teleconference session of the board. The guide was updated to cover new education ministry directives received during the previous two weeks and also advice from the chief medical offers GSPNFBDIPGUIF&BTUFSO0OUBSJPSFHJPOBM health units where UCDSB schools are located. Some of the key revisions to the guide includes scheduling the staggered entry plan for UCDSB students to a September


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