- On Monday, a spokesman for Doug Ford’s government confirmed to CP24 that Ontario schools will resume in-person instruction on January 17.
- On Monday, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that retired educators will work more days this school year.
A spokesman for the Doug Ford govt confirmed to CP24 Monday that Ontario schools will restart for in-person teaching on January 17.
The province’s schools were supposed to reopen on January 3. Still, the government delayed it until January 5, claiming that the two extra days would allow schools to provide N95 masks to staff and deploy 3,000 more HEPA filter units.
Last week, the govt declared that children would instead be taught remotely until at least January 17.
The choice to shut schools was made in the wake of an increase in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant, which has resulted in higher-than-usual patient volumes and staff shortages in hospitals.
Ford said at the time, “These two weeks will provide much-needed time for more vaccines and boosters.”
“There’s still time for more public health measures to slow the rapid increase in cases. I understand that online learning isn’t perfect, but I’d rather give students and parents certainty than the uncertainty of school closures due to a lack of qualified teachers.”
To address staff shortages, Education Minister Stephen Lecce declared on Monday that retired Ontario educators would be permitted to work more days this school year.
“We need staff to keep offering live teacher-led remote learning as well as safely operate our schools when students come back to in-person learning,” Lecce said in a statement.
“That is why we have reached an agreement with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation to provide thousands of teacher-qualified educators to assist maintain schools open and safe.”
The Ontario Big City Mayors (OBCM) passed a motion supporting calls from pediatricians and parents to resume in-person classes on Monday afternoon.
Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson proposed the motion seconded by Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and passed unanimously.
In a memo dated December 31, the Ontario government stated that new testing guidelines would no longer be gathering COVID-19 case info from schools and child-care settings.
The ministry will suspend reporting of COVID-19 cases in schools due to recent shifts to cases and contact management by the Ministry of Health and OCMOH, as per the memo obtained by CP24.
While case counts will no longer be published, the ministry stated that school and child-care closings due to COVID-19 would continue to be reported.
According to the most recent provincial data, 46.7 percent of children aged five to eleven years old have got one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, only with 3.5 % receiving 2 doses and being regarded as fully vaccinated.
A little more than 86 percent of kids aged 12 to 17 have received one vaccine dose, while 82.6 percent have received two.
Source- CTV News
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