Ontario won’t reopen schools for in-person learning this spring, Ford announces

Province waiting on experts to weigh in as decision on school reopening looms-Milenio Stadium-Toronto
Premier Doug Ford has said he’s concerned about reopening schools given the presence of more contagious variants of COVID-19, as well as relatively low rates of vaccinated teachers and students. (Sofia Rodriguez/CBC)

Ontario students won’t return to in-class learning before September, Premier Doug Ford announced at a news conference Wednesday.

Ontario speeding up 2nd dose eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines

“I think this is very difficult news. It was a hard choice to make,” Ford said.

On Monday, Ford said his government was reviewing responses to a letter sent last Thursday that solicited advice from a range of expert groups, including public health officials and teachers unions.

On Wednesday, Ford said some experts believed students should be back in class, but that they could not promise that the move wouldn’t lead to thousands of new COVID-19 cases, especially when variants of concern are considered.

Ford said he wouldn’t risk spreading those variants.

“By remaining cautious and vigilant, we protect our summer. We protect September,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said.

Most students in Ontario have been learning remotely since April 19 due to soaring rates of COVID-19 amid the third wave of the pandemic.

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