Ontario Schools Will Shut Down For At Least 2 Weeks & Return To Remote Learning

Here's what you need to know.

Toronto Staff Writer
Ontario Schools Will Shut Down For At Least 2 Weeks & Return To Remote Learning

If you were excited to get your kids out of the house and into Ontario schools this week, don't hold your breath.

Premier Doug Ford announced in a press conference on Monday, January 3 that Ontario schools will be delaying in-person learning until "at least January 17," despite the fact that the Ontario government reassured folks that schools would reopen on January 5.

"As we continue with our provincial vaccine booster efforts, we must look at every option to slow the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant," said Ford in a statement on January 3.

"Putting these targeted and time limited measures in place will give us more opportunity to deliver vaccines to all Ontarians
and ensure everyone has maximum protection against this virus."

The decision to close schools down comes along with several other new restrictions in response to the province's increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations and the surging Omicron variant.

School buildings will be able to remain open for some operations, including "emergency child care, to provide in-person instruction for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated remotely and for staff who are unable to deliver quality instruction from home," according to the government statement.

Health care and frontline workers will also be provided free emergency child care services for their "school-aged children" while remote learning is in effect.

Although the Omicron variant is reported to be 54% less likely to cause death or hospitalization than the Delta variant, according to a new Public Health Ontario study, its high transmissibility will "most likely" cause a substantial impact on health care organizations.

Children remaining in schools for in-person learning has been a hot-button issue, and last week hundreds of Ontario doctors came together to sign an open letter to Ford, Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore, pleading the Ontario government to keep schools open for the sake of children's wellbeing.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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