Toronto school boards to close classrooms on Wednesday, shift to remote learning

The Children's Health Coalition in Toronto says in-person learning is integral to a child's development

"The data shows that schools have remained safe through this pandemic as confirmed by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and local Medical Officers of Health", said Minister Lecce's spokesperson, Caitlin Clark.

She said the variants are more highly transmissible and therefore more risky.

The closure means more than 300,000 students, including those who attend private or independent schools, will return to learning from home exclusively. Toronto Public Health says in-person learning is set to resume in Toronto on April 19, after next week's spring break.

The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph health unit also said on Monday that area school would temporarily shift to remote learning, starting Wednesday. He says the federal government is ready to provide support in whatever capacity provinces and territories may need.

De Villa said that recognizing the importance of in-person learning, TPH had been trying to "stay the course" as much as possible, but the situation eventually became "untenable".

Provincial governments are grappling with how to bring the third wave of COVID-19 under control, as the more virulent variants of the virus begin to dominate and younger, healthier people are getting very sick, very quickly.

In a Twitter thread, Etches said she is "in the process of reviewing the COVID data in schools to advise on an approach to take for schools in Ottawa".

In February, the government delayed March Break by one month to keep students in the classroom and prevent further COVID-19 transmission.

Province-wide shutdown starts Saturday
Capacity at weddings, funerals and religious services , rites or ceremonies is limited to 15 per cent capacity per room indoors. Brown believes schools should be the last to close and first to open because of the impacts the shutdowns have on children.

Ontario's Education Ministry reported 236 school-related cases provincewide on Tuesday, including 207 students and 29 staff members.

They're asking for stronger measures than the current province-wide shutdown, pointing to case numbers that continued to rise in Toronto and Peel during the Grey-Lockdown, which had restrictions very similar to the shutdown.

Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation- Toronto President Leslie Wolfe told CP24 Tuesday that she welcomes the move but it should have happened sooner.

Hajdu said Tuesday she was only offering up facts. About 22 per cent of schools now have at least one reported case, while 83 schools, or 1.7 per cent of Ontario 4,828 publicly funded schools, are closed due to COVID-19.

She said the numbers in schools have been trending upward for the past two weeks. Further, they asked the province to limit staffing at essential businesses to no more than 50% of usual in addition to the limits on customer occupancy.

British Columbians are proving to be quick on the draw when it comes to booking their vaccines online.

Ontario is also moving into a second phase of its vaccination campaign, which includes inoculating essential workers who can not work from home, people with high-risk health conditions and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

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