Said MTG

Ontario extends virtual learning in southern regions until Jan. 25


The Ontario government has announced students in the southern regions of the province will continue with online learning until Jan. 25 due to “increasing community transmission” of coronavirus.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate throughout the province, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is extending certain
measures to keep students, education staff, and residents of Northern Ontario safe.
This includes extending in-person learning until January 25, 2021 for elementary school students in the 27 Southern Ontario public health unit regions and extending the shutdown in Northern Ontario for
another 14 days, aligning with the shutdown period in Southern Ontario, according to a statement.
These time-limited measures are being taken to help ensure that all Ontarians stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed, while at
the same time being responsive to the fact that Northern Ontario students are not able to learn at home as effectively due to limited access to reliable Internet service.
“With the public health trends where they are across the province, our priority remains keeping students, teachers, school staff, and all Ontarians safe,” said Premier Ford” That’s why we’re extending the
remote learning period for students in Southern Ontario and the shutdown period for Northern Ontario, while continuing to provide financial relief for parents through the Support for Learners program as
well as electricity rate relief for all time-of-use customers. We have to get the numbers down and  today’s measures will help us continue to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”

Targeted testing done among students and staff in December 2020 confirmed that schools are not a significant source of transmission. However, with students having been at home for several weeks and
with reports of concerning behaviour over the holidays, the positivity rate among school-aged children has increased sharply. Most troubling, the positivity rate for kids aged 12-13 years old increased from 5.44 per
cent in late November, early December to nearly 20 per cent in early January.

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