Update: On Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford announced schools in Ontario will not reopen for in-class learning until the fall.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford will make an announcement on Wednesday afternoon where he is expected to reveal if schools will reopen across the province.
The announcement comes the same day Ontario’s Province-wide Stay-at-Home order finally expires, though little will change between now and when Ontario is expected to move into Step 1 of its reopening plan on June 14.
On Tuesday, Ontario reported 699 new COVID-19 infections, the lowest count since October of last year. Health officials previously said that the province could not move forward with reopening until new daily case counts were less than 1,000 per day.
Though case counts are a contributing factor in reopening, the province’s reopening plan is tied to vaccination rates. The province has said it can move into Step 1 when 60% of adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, about 62% of adults over the age of 18 have received a first dose.
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With case numbers decreasing and the vaccine rollout ramping up to offer second doses to adults age 80 and up, the question of schools opening is at the top of the province’s list.
Schools in Ontario have been closed for in-person learning since early April and last week Ford sent a letter to the province’s doctors and other medical experts asking them to weigh in on whether schools should reopen for the remainder of the school year.
Ford is scheduled to begin his remarks at 1 pm. He’ll be joined by Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Minister of Health Christine Elliott.