Ontario schools will stay closed indefinitely to in-person learning as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the province.
Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Monday alongside Education Minister Stephen Lecce at Queen’s Park following a cabinet meeting earlier in the day.
Sources told CTV News Toronto the decision was made this weekend after the province posted a record-breaking number of COVID-19 and intensive care admissions.
“We’re moving school online only after the April break, we will keep a constant eye on the data on case numbers hospital capacity and ICU admissions to determine when we get kids back in the classrooms,” Ford said Monday.
“I want nothing more than to be able to open the schools up again as soon as possible. But we all need to work together right now to get the community spread under control.”
Private schools operating in-person this week have been ordered to transition to remote learning by April 15.
Child care for non-school aged children will remain open during the school closure. Before and after school programs will be closed.
Free emergency child care for the school-aged children of eligible health care and frontline workers will also be available during the closure.
The announcement to keep schools closed comes just a day after Lecce issued a letter to parents insisting that schools would remain open during while the province is under a stay-at-home order.
On Monday, Lecce changed his tone while speaking in legislature at Queen’s Park, saying that he’s growing increasingly concerned about the sharp rise in infections.
This is a developing news story. More to come.
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