In-person learning resumes for thousands of Ontario students, as new safety measures take effect


It's back to in-person learning for more than 100,000 students in parts of Southern Ontario Monday, but that number does not include GTA students. 

The return to class will also involve new safety measures to protect against COVID-19.

On Sunday, the province announced that it's introducing some "tougher layers of protection", on the advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health. 

The new measures will include province-wide targetted asymptomatic testing, more comprehensive screening protocols and mandatory masking for students in Grades 1 to 3, as well as masking outdoors, where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

This past week seven public health units in parts of Southern Ontario - in the areas of Grey Bruce, Haliburton Kawarthas, Kingston, Peterborough and Renfrew County - were given the green light to return to class January 25th.

However, students in COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, York Region, Peel Region, Hamilton and Windsor Essex will stay at home, and continue remote learning, until at least February 10.

It's not clear when students in Durham and Halton Regions will be going back.