COVID-19 shutting down Ontario schools

Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / tomwang.

The province has announced that all publicly funded schools in Ontario will be closed for two weeks following the March break because of COVID-19 concerns.

The Minister of Education issued a Ministerial Order late Thursday afternoon to close the schools based on the advice of Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and the experts at the COVID-19 Command Table. Premier Doug Ford said public Ontario schools have been ordered to remain closed from March 14 through April 5, 2020.

Ford said Ontario has been diligently monitoring the developing situation to protect the health of all Ontarians.

“The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government’s number one priority,” said the premier.

He said given the latest developments, both internationally and here at home, the province is taking further action. The premier added he recognizes the significant impact this decision will have on families, students, schools, and the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep people safe. He said the steps build on a number of actions the provincial government has taken in recent days to respond to COVID-19, including moving forward with additional public health measures.

Premier Ford said he is also mindful of workers in other public institutions and buildings and added Ontario’s COVID-19 Command Table is prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any scenario and provide the government with advice on measures to keep the public and frontline workers safe.

“Our public health system has demonstrated remarkable responsiveness to COVID-19 and these measures we are putting in place will ensure that we continue to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario and thereby protect children and families across the province,” he said.