Schools in seven public health units in Ontario will open their doors next week for in-class learning, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced Wednesday.
In a release, Lecce said the re-openings scheduled for Monday, January 25, come on the advice of the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Over 100,000 students are expected back in class.
Schools in the following public health units will re-open Monday:
- Grey Bruce Health Unit
- Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
- Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Health Unit
- Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
- Peterborough Public Health
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit
“Getting students back into class is our top priority,” Lecce said. “According to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and leading medical and scientific experts, including the Hospital for Sick Children, Ontario’s schools are safe places for learning.”
“To ensure schools remain safe, the government is introducing additional measures including provincewide targeted asymptomatic testing, enhanced screening, mandatory masking for students in Grades 1-3 and outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained.”
The government says schools in all other southern Ontario public health units will continue remote learning.
In late December, the government announced that all schools would be closed to in-person learning for the first week of the winter term.
That closure was later extended to Jan. 25 for all schools in southern Ontario while students in northern Ontario returned to physical classrooms on Jan. 11.
The government then declared a state of emergency on Jan. 12 and extended online learning for schools in five hot spots until Feb. 10.
The Ministry of Education said it will continue to closely monitor public health trends in regions where schools remain closed in favour of remote learning.