Local Teachers' Union Supports Health Units School Decision

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The local president of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) says he supports the decision by Windsor-Essex's medical officer of health to extend online learning to at least January 23 in the region.

Mario Spagnuolo feels Dr. Wajid Ahmed is making the right decision for the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic and says his members want to head back to the classroom for in-person learning but understand it's not safe to do so at this time.

"As much as we would want in person teaching and learning to continue because that's where we believe is the best place for learning to happen is inside of a classroom, it's not safe to do so especially in our local area," says Spagnuolo, adding "It's a difficult decision for parents, for families and for our teachers. Our teachers would rather be in the classroom with their kids working with them in person unfortunately the context that we're living doesn't support that."      

In-person learning was suspended in Windsor-Essex a week prior to the holiday break when Dr. Ahmed issued a Section 22 Order on December 10 shifting elementary and secondary students to online/remote learning.

The order was in place from December 14 to December 18.

Meanwhile on December 21, the province announced elementary students in Ontario would move to online learning from January 4 to January 8 while secondary students would continue with online learning until January 22.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 199 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, along with three additional deaths linked to the virus.