Published: Tue, April 06, 2021
Economy | By

Schools move online-only in Peel as variant COVID-19 cases spike

Schools move online-only in Peel as variant COVID-19 cases spike

A statement from Waterloo Region's Catholic school board said there were no plans to move to virtual learning between now and April break.

"This closure is a necessary step to protect staff and students in Peel Region", Dr. Lawrence Loh said in a statement, exercising his discretionary powers to enact such closures under Section 22 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act.

"We will keep the school communities informed as soon as the reopening dates are confirmed", TPH said in a tweet.

The chief medical officer for Peel Region, which also includes the town of Caledon, ordered its schools closed until April 18 on Monday, with camps due to run during next week's delayed break also cancelled.

Peel's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh made the decision alone, despite the government's previous announcement that schools would stay open during the four week provincial shut down.

During the closure, licensed child care programs will not be permitted to offer care to children whose schools are required to be closed under the order, with the exception of emergency child care for those who qualify.

Peel made the decision after seeing a "significant increase" in COVID-19 case counts and variant of concern spread last week and over the Easter long weekend.

Toronto elementary and secondary schools will be closed for in-person learning as all students and staff will shift to online learning as of Wednesday.

Peel Public Health continues to work closely with our school board partners to prioritize the health and safety of staff and students.

The minister's office has defended its stance on keeping students in class, saying Monday "schools remain safe with strong public health measures in place that have kept almost 99% of schools in Ontario open". Further decisions on extending the section order will be based on the disease picture in Peel.

Similiar to Peel Region, the order will be in place from April 7 to 18, which will bring students to the end of the April break. I know this will be challenging for parents to navigate and we appreciate all the sacrifices parents continue to make as we continue to fight COVID-19 in our community.

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