By: Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
QUEEN’S PARK – Elementary and Secondary students across Ontario will return to remote-learning when classes resume next week.
Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce made the announcement Monday afternoon (April 12).
“The problem is not in our schools, but in the community,” Ford said of the increasing COVID-19 cases in the province. Today, the government announced 4,401 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24-hours.
“We know the more COVID spreads in our community, the more likely it will spread in school,” Ford explained. “No one wants our kids in school more than I do. We simply can’t be too cautious.”
Students are on a province-wide Spring Break this week, which is the delayed March Break. That break was put off to not risk the recovering from shutdowns relating to the second wave of the pandemic.
Since that time, COVID-19 variants have spread, primarily the B.117 or UK variant. The spread now has pushed the province into a third wave with intensive care units overloaded and active case counts have soared.
While school-aged students will learn remotely, child care centres will remain open for parents who are unable to work from home.
There is no end date given by the province on when students will return to in-school, in-person learning. Ontario is in the first week of a four week stay-at-home order. That order took effect on April 8th.