The province has ordered school closures in Ontario's public health regions that will last for almost a month.
Schools in Windsor, Peel, Toronto, York, and Hamilton's public health regions will not be open for in-person learning until February 10, Premier Doug Ford said in a press conference today.
There [are] some really dark days ahead.
Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
Ford also said that Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health will be analyzing data in the rest of the province's public health regions and offering recommendations for their schools by January 20.
"As I've said from the beginning, when it comes to our children, I will not take any unnecessary risks," Ford said.
The government also announced new health guidelines for students who are in school, including mandatory masks outdoors, masks for children in Grades 1-3, and expanded testing and screening.
Emergency child-care programs will be extended until February 10 in the affected regions.
School closures in Southern Ontario are currently in place until January 25, though schools in the aforementioned regions will now be closed for longer.
Students in Northern Ontario returned to school on January 11, and will not be immediately affected by the province's announcement today.