DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: Elementary and Secondary School students across Ontario returned to in-person classes, on Monday, January 17th.
“We believe, so strongly, children need to be in school [and] that they are essential to the mental and physical health of a child and to their academic success. We have been cautious throughout this pandemic, and we’ve pivoted when required, to ensure we protect our schools, our communities and our collective progress, as we work together to get kids back in school and our lives back on track,” Ontario education minister Stephen Lecce said at a press conference, on Wednesday, January 12th.
Minister Lecce added, the return to school would see “strong protections in place,” and stated, the reopening of schools is “fully supported by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.”
The government had originally planned to allow in-person learning to begin on Wednesday, January 5th. However, earlier this month, the provincial government announced they were delaying the reopening of schools and having schools pivot to virtual learning instead, due to increased COVID-19 spread in Ontario.
Minister Lecce announced the government will be providing schools with rapid antigen tests.
“Staff and students will receive two tests each, as an initial supply, with over 3.9 million rapid tests shipped to schools as we speak, ready for January 17th,” he stated.