Education minister, top doctor to give details on Ontario schools reopening Monday

Ontario’s education minister and top doctor are set to hold a press conference today on preparations for schools reopening.

The press conference comes after Premier Doug Ford’s office said Monday evening that schools will reopen on Jan. 17.

Ford previously pointed to the growing pressure on hospitals and a coming “tsunami” of COVID-19 cases when he announced the temporary shift to online learning on Jan. 3, which he had said would last until at least Jan. 17, depending on health indicators at the time.

Read more: Ontario students, teachers to head back to the classroom on Jan. 17, sources say

On Tuesday, teachers unions and parents of school-aged children expressed safety concerns about the reopening plan since the government isn’t offering PCR tests for students and teachers unless they become symptomatic while at school.

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A document from the Ministry of Health said those who develop symptoms at home are asked to isolate and not attend school.

In a written statement issued Tuesday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the provincial government has been preparing for the return of in-class learning “by doing as much as we can to improve ventilation, provide high quality PPE and expand access to vaccinations.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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