BREAKING | March break for Ontario students will be delayed

lecce feb 3

March break will not proceed as usual this year.

Ontario's Education Minister Stephen Lecce confirming today that the week-long school break will be pushed back to April 12th.

March break had been scheduled for March 15 - 19th.

Niagara's students are heading into an extra long weekend, with a PA day schedule for tomorrow, and the Family Day holiday being celebrated on Monday.

There have been three school related COVID-19 cases reported this week in Niagara.

Students in Toronto, Peel and York are still learning at home, and will physically go back to school on Feb.16th.

Stephen Lecce, Ontario's Minister of Education, issued the following statement regarding March break:

"In support of our collective efforts to keep schools safe, we are postponing March break until April 12-16, 2021. This decision was made with the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, including consultations with many local Medical Officers of Health.

Many students have been learning remotely since the start of 2021. It is critical we follow public health advice to protect schools and avoid a repeat of the concerning spike in youth-related cases over the winter break, when students and staff were out of schools for a prolonged period of time. We are taking this precaution based on advice from health experts, including the province's Science Table and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, to help protect against the emerging COVID-19 variants of concern.

We appreciate the hard work of students and staff in the education sector and I want to be clear: March break is being postponed, not cancelled. To keep schools open, we must keep them free of COVID-19. The actions announced today serve to limit opportunities for congregation - while reaffirming the evidence that schools are safe for students. By continuing to follow public health advice, and by introducing additional safety measures and more testing, we are supporting our collective efforts to keep COVID-19 from entering our schools.

With respect to travel, our government's position on this is unchanged. Ontarians should refrain from travelling, particularly given the increase in new variants that pose a direct risk to our country. Please stay at home as much as possible and continue following the direction of public health officials so that we can keep schools open and protect our seniors, frontline health workers and all families.

These decisions - based on the advice of medical experts - are never easy, but they are necessary to keep Ontario families safe."