Health Unit to Provide Return to Classroom Recommendations Later This Week

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Parents can expect to hear from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Tuesday or Wednesday whether or not elementary students should return to the classroom on January 11.

Elementary students are slated for online learning January 4 to 8, but that could be extended according to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed.

He says health officials are keeping a close eye on the numbers.

"We are looking at those numbers very closely right now and as I mentioned earlier last week, we will be looking at the trends and probably will provide our recommendations mid-week, likely by Tuesday or Wednesday."

Ahmed says the local health unit has been in contact with the Ministry of Health.

"Looking at all the evidence carefully and also based on our discussions with the ministry, we'll continue to look at the evidence and make decisions and recommendations that make sense for our region."

He says the decision can't be rushed.

"Our education system is critical for the developing mind. We don't want to jeopardize any learning opportunities for our children. So what we can do to better support it, that's the critical piece, and we are trying to find that balance."

The week of virtual learning for elementary students following the Christmas break was announced as part of the Ford government's province-wide lockdown — secondary students will remain online until at least January 25.

There are currently outbreaks being reported at two schools in Windsor-Essex — George P. Vanier Catholic Elementary and St. Rose Catholic Elementary School, both in Windsor.