In a recent update, Ontario’s Minister of Education posted that all schools will return to in-person learning as of February 8th, with the exception of schools in Toronto, Peel and York, which will reopen on February 16.
Stephen Lecce updates Ontario’s schools reopening plan
According to CBC news, Education Minister, Stephen Lecce said the decision was based on the advice of Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health.
“I want to be clear: if things change, if trends move in the wrong direction, following the advice of the chief medical officer of health, we will not hesitate to act.” Lecce told reporters.
Canadian doctors support the government’s travel suspension, but believe that it’s time for schools to reopen. Canada is currently facing some of the “strictest lockdown measures in the world”
According to the Globe and Mail, 100 doctors signed an open letter, asking the government to reopen schools and keep them open. According to Canada’s government website there are 49,562 positive cases in Canada as of February 3rd.
Active case count in Canada
The open letter includes some of the top pediatric experts in the country. The letter was sent to all premiers and ministers of education of health.
It states that various pandemic restrictions “stop our children from reaching their full potential and harm their health. This is particularly unnecessary considering that the data consistently shows that the risk of transmission in schools is low even when transmission in communities is high.”
They wrote, “ teachers are not at higher risk for infection or disease.”
Ontario has been under lockdown since December with an extension. There have been several protests each weekend on Yonge and Dundas square with people protesting the nationwide lockdown.
Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, steatement on reopening schools in Ontario.
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