As part of the additional measures being announced by the province today in the continuing battle against COVID-19, schools in York Region will not re-open for in-person instruction until Feb. 10.
Based on the advice of Dr. David Williams, the province's chief medical officer of health, schools in York Region, as well as Toronto, Peel, Hamilton and Windsor-Essex, will continue with online learning, according to a government news release.
Emergency child care will remain available for eligible families in York Region and other areas where school closures continue.
Williams had previously extended elementary school closures in southern Ontario until Jan. 22, the same day in-person learning was to resume at high schools.
For those other southern Ontario regions not mentioned today, Williams will advise the Ministry of Education by Jan. 20 if schools will be permitted to resume in-person instruction, based on the most up-to-date data and modelling. Before and after-school programs can be offered when in-person instruction resumes.
For schools in other jurisdictions that will resume in-person learning on Jan. 22, additional health and safety measures will be put in place, including masking for grades 1 to 3 and requirements for masks outdoors, enhanced screening protocols and expanded targeted testing.
The province is also implementing new measures in child care settings, including enhanced screening and infection control measure similar to schools and voluntary participation in targeted testing, according to the news release.
Child care centres for non-school-aged children will remain open, and emergency child care for school-aged children will end on Jan. 22 in regions where elementary schools return to in-person learning.
"At the heart of our continued efforts to protect against the spread of COVID-19 in our communities is a firm commitment to return kids to school safely," said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. "Protecting our students, staff and their families is our top priority, and these additional measures build on our comprehensive plan to reopen schools and keep young children in child care safe."
Effective Thursday, Jan. 14 at 12:01 a.m., the province's stay-at-home order requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health-care services, for exercise and essential work, in a bid to further limit mobility and reduce the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household.
In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.