Possible extension of school closures to be determined next week

An empty classroom. (Photo by Wokandapix from Pixabay)

Parents and students will learn next week if schools will reopen as planned January 25.

By January 20, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health will tell the education ministry which health units will be allowed to resume in-person instruction based on the latest COVID-19 numbers and modelling.

Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey told Sue Storr on CHOK (103.9 FM, 1070 AM) Wednesday morning that it’s possible school closures may be extended in some areas.

“I talked to Education Minister Stephen Lecce last night,” said Bailey. “He and the people that make those decisions across the province are going to meet January 20 and make a final decision if, in fact, school will go back on the 25th. If the numbers are going up in some of these other areas, it might be expanded to February 10. I don’t want to panic people, but I want to let them know that they are looking at this.”

Based on the advice of the chief medical officer of health, a return to in-person instruction has already been delayed until February 10 for schools in Windsor-Essex, Peel Region, Toronto, York and Hamilton

The provincial government also announced Tuesday that new health and safety measures will be implemented in schools when they do reopen, including masking for Grades 1 through 3.