Daycares for children too young to go to school will remain open, but before and after school programs for school-age children will be cancelled.
The province reported 217 new COVID-19 in schools today, including 186 in students. According to the government, boards will make provisions for continued in-person support for students with special education needs who require additional support that can not be accommodated through remote learning.
The province recorded more than 4,400 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and Ford said the next few weeks will be critical and there are growing concerns of further community spread. "As I have always said we will do whatever it takes to ensure everyone stays safe. By keeping kids home longer after spring break we will limit community transmission, take pressure off our hospitals and allow more time to rollout our COVID-19 vaccine plan".
Liberal leader Stephen Del Duca has called on the Education Minister to be fired in a statement released Monday afternoon, "Just yesterday, Minister Lecce wrote to parents telling them that all publicly funded schools would remain open after the April Break". Private schools now operating in-person transition to remote learning by April 15, 2021.
One of the first large pop-up clinics will be run in collaboration with BAPS Charities in North Etobicoke and booked through the William Osler Health System; its target is to administer 15,000 vaccines over three weeks. "Data will be assessed on an ongoing basis and health officials will be consulted to determine when it will be safe to resume in-person learning", reads the announcement.
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The announcement came days after a provincewide shutdown took effect in light of skyrocketing infections and hospitalization numbers.
Spring break began Monday after the province postponed it in March to discourage travel during the pandemic.
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce at a press conference announcing that schools will be moved to remote learning after the April break. "We understand they are anxious about the safety protocols and what is happening across the province, but whenever we are able to go back, I think that is the best place for the kids to be". The province will work with local public-health units, community groups, and religious organizations to operate mobile or pop-up clinics in areas with the highest historical or current prevalence of COVID-19.
Toronto and Peel closed their schools to in-person learning last week and said they will review that decision this week.