Schools reopen in 7 public health units across southern Ontario

WATCH ABOVE: Schools in seven public health units in southern Ontario will reopen to in-person learning on Jan. 25.

TORONTO — Schools in seven public health units across southern Ontario reopen for in-person classes today.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says that means 100,000 students will be returning to the classroom for the first time since before the winter break.

The province is implementing more safety measures in areas where schools are reopening, including requiring students in grades 1 through 3 to wear masks indoors and when physical distancing isn’t possible outside as well.

It’s also introducing “targeted asymptomatic testing” and enhanced screening protocols in those regions.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Back-to-school Monday for some Ontario students

While it’s been more than a month since students in southern Ontario have been in the classroom, classes resumed in the northern part of the province on Jan. 11.

The provincial government has said the chief medical officer of health is keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 situation in public health units where schools remain closed to decide when it’s safe for them to reopen.

But the province has said that in five hot spot regions — Windsor-Essex, Peel, York, Toronto and Hamilton — that won’t happen until at least Feb. 10.

The public health units where schools are reopening today are the Grey Bruce Health Unit; the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit; the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit; the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Health Unit; the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit; Peterborough Public Health and Renfrew County and District Health Unit.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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