People in Ontario have the holidays on their minds early this year, wondering what's going to happen. On Tuesday, the premier and minister of education raised the possibility that kids may be out of school longer than usual this year.

And then almost immediately said the opposite.

Speaking to reporters after Question Period, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said, “We have to do whatever it takes to protect the gains we've made in the ministry within our education ecosystem," and added that it may include "some period out of class." 

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3,518

Total infections in schools and child care centres in Ontario

Doug Ford piped up during the same scrum, saying "It may not happen," which is another way of saying that it may.

This follows an October memo to school board directors from Lecce's deputy minister, Nancy Naylor, that said "To be prepared for a potential closure, school boards should have plans in place so they can move to remote learning quickly."

Then, around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Lecce tweeted.

So it sounds like schools will remain open for the time being, but that the situation may change depending on those expert consultations, and how steep that COVID-19 graph keeps climbing.

Of the 3,518 school and childcare centre-related cases, 1,985 have been confirmed to be students.

But there is an additional 1,088 cases where it's not been reported whether they were students or staff.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is similarly in the dark. Spokesperson Ryan Bird told Narcity on Tuesday, "The TSDB takes its lead from the Ministry of Education on matters such as this and will wait for direction from them in the days and weeks ahead."

In Quebec, Premier François Legault also announced Tuesday that extended school closures are an option to protect communities after potential exposure during the holidays.

 
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