Parents will have more clarity on return-to-school in the next few days

lecce feb

Ontario's Education Minister says parents will have more clarity on when their children will return to school in the coming days.

Stephen Lecce announced $381M in funding for schools to deal with the impacts of COVID-19, including $50M to improve air quality.

He also talked about expanding testing for students and children in care settings.

280,000 students returned to in-class learning today, but Niagara students remain learning at home along with the GTHA.

Lecce says he wants all students to return to in-class learning, but he will follow medical officials' advice.

"In the coming days we hope to provide clarity to parents for when their kids will go back to school."

When students return to school there will be additional safety measures including masking for students in grades 1-3, and masks outdoors if physical distancing can't be maintained.

When asked if there was a certain method used to allow students to return to in-person learning, Ontario's Medical officer of Health Dr. David Williams says there is.

Williams says even if a community is experiencing lower transmission numbers, local public health units can ask the province to delay the return to in-person learning if they aren't comfortable with it.

He says that was the case in Brant County this past week. 

Williams says the province is "ready" to re-open schools province-wide on Feb 10th, as long as local public health units feel they are adequately prepared to re-open safely.

He says community transmission and testing is key.