The province says child care centers will remain open and emergency child care for school-aged children of eligible health care and front-line workers will be provided. "Our priority has always been to keep schools open, however sharply rising community transmission can put our schools and Ontario families at risk", said Minister Lecce.
Details were provided today, Monday, Apr. 12, 2021, in a press conference hosted by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Francis Veneruz, chairman of Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, said it is disappointing that students won't be returning to the classroom, but he understands the decision by the province.
However, Premier Ford and his Education Minister Stephen Lecce could not ignore the explosion of new variant cases and the spike in hospital admissions that are threatening to overwhelm our healthcare system. "As I have always said we will do whatever it takes to ensure everyone stays safe".
School Boards will also be directed to provide continued in person support for students with special education needs, who cannot learn remotely.
"One day later, Doug Ford is closing them for weeks". Every other school will shift to remote learning when the kids head back to class on Monday April 19th. They will consult health officials to determine when it will be safe to resume in-person learning.
The Province is experiencing record high daily case numbers and the amount of people in the ICU is over 500, causing surgeries to be delayed across Ontario. Another 4,401 new infections were discovered on Monday.
The increasing rate of the virus spreading in communities poses "a threat to the health and safety of school communities", according to the province.
Hamilton's public school board is preparing to transition to online-only classes after the April break by halting teaching for two days and handing out devices students will need for remote learning.
The premier announced this afternoon that once the spring break ends, classrooms will again return to the virtual realm. This action is being taken in support of the Government's broader efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
With students moving to remote learning, vaccine prioritization of education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs across the province, and all education workers in select hot spot areas, starting with Peel and Toronto, will continue.