Update: The province announced Ontario schools will remain closed after April break. Read the story here.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford will make an announcement on Monday alongside the province’s Education Minister, Stephen Lecce.
The announcement comes days after the implementation of a Province-wide Stay-at-Home order, which was enacted following a rise in COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, Ontario reported 4,456 new cases, the highest single-day count since the pandemic began.
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Ontario residents and businesses face a litany of restrictions under the new Stay-at-Home order, but most schools in Ontario remain open for in-person learning. Schools in Toronto and Peel region closed last week and shifted solely to online learning as case counts began to rise.
On Sunday, Lecce issued a letter to parents stating that Ontario intends to keep all elementary and secondary schools open for in-person learning despite the Stay-at-Home order, with the exception of those regions that have chosen to move to virtual learning.
Ontario previously announced it will begin vaccinating education staff in high-priority neighbourhoods starting this week. Education staff who work with students with special needs and all school staff in neighbourhoods with high infection rates will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, a move that came after teaching unions pressured the province to vaccinate teachers or close schools.
The province also previously stated it would expand access to asymptomatic testing and beef up symptom screening at schools to reduce virus transmission among students and staff.
Ford is scheduled to begin his remarks at 3 pm. Along with Lecce, he’ll be joined by Minister of Health Christine Elliott, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect Ford’s new press conference time of 3 pm.