UPDATE: Ontario government orders schools closed from March 14 until April 5

News Mar 12, 2020 by Dina Al-Shibeeb YorkRegion.com

The provincial government has ordered that publicly funded schools will remain closed after March break and won't re-open again until April 5 in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

"The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government's number one priority," said Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education in a joint statement. "Since we first learned of COVID-19 as an emerging public health issue, Ontario has been diligently monitoring the developing situation to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.  We have also taken decisive action to ensure the province's health care system is positioned to be ready for any scenario."

The ministerial order from Lecce was issued based on advice from Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at the COVID-19 Command Table and approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

"We recognize the significant impact this decision will have on families, students, schools, as well as the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep people safe," the statement went on to say. "Today's steps build on a number of actions our government has taken in recent days to respond to COVID-19, including moving forward with additional public health measures, which include enhanced access to screening, expanding lab-testing capacity, and implementing new initiatives to keep the public and frontline workers safe. We are further setting aside up to $100 million in contingency funding in the upcoming 2020 budget to address challenges related to COVID-19."

Prior to the announcement from the government, parents with children enrolled at public schools urged for more action.

On March 12, a day after WHO declared that COVID-19 is now a pandemic, the York Region District School Board Twitter account told parents and their children to “have an awesome week off everyone!"

With spring break, running from March 16 to March 20, is approaching, Emily Kournikova replied back to YRDSB, asking: “Can we please close the schools for 2 weeks after the March break as a COVID-19 spread preventive measure? Many people will be returning from their March break travels and our communities will be at an increased risk.”

Sema Gulluce, also reiterated a similar stance to Kournikova, when she wrote on Twitter: “I have been seriously thinking that we should establish an online system and close the schools for a while.”

“Are you planning this kind of prevention? Because it doesn’t mean anything if we are late,” Gulluce added.

But YRDSB had communicated that students travelling to high-risk areas should be quarantined for 14 days, and it's part of the three scenarios it gave for students who have decided to travel.

It urged students and their families to “self-isolate for 14 days after the time you left Iran or Hubei province,” and also called for the “monitoring” of symptoms related to COVID-19 — fever, new cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing — for 14 days after returning from other areas such as the U.S.

“The school board is taking this matter seriously and has taken measures to mitigate against the spread of the virus, including enhanced cleaning, reinforcing handwashing and cancelling trips to Europe to have taken place in March,” said YRDSB in an email. “We continue to follow the advice of our local, provincial and federal health authorities and have communicated all their messaging to our families."

UPDATE: Ontario government orders schools closed from March 14 until April 5

Ministry of Education says schools will remain closed afer March break in response to coronavirus crisis

News Mar 12, 2020 by Dina Al-Shibeeb YorkRegion.com

The provincial government has ordered that publicly funded schools will remain closed after March break and won't re-open again until April 5 in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

"The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government's number one priority," said Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education in a joint statement. "Since we first learned of COVID-19 as an emerging public health issue, Ontario has been diligently monitoring the developing situation to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.  We have also taken decisive action to ensure the province's health care system is positioned to be ready for any scenario."

The ministerial order from Lecce was issued based on advice from Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at the COVID-19 Command Table and approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

"We recognize the significant impact this decision will have on families, students, schools, as well as the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep people safe," the statement went on to say. "Today's steps build on a number of actions our government has taken in recent days to respond to COVID-19, including moving forward with additional public health measures, which include enhanced access to screening, expanding lab-testing capacity, and implementing new initiatives to keep the public and frontline workers safe. We are further setting aside up to $100 million in contingency funding in the upcoming 2020 budget to address challenges related to COVID-19."

Related Content

Prior to the announcement from the government, parents with children enrolled at public schools urged for more action.

On March 12, a day after WHO declared that COVID-19 is now a pandemic, the York Region District School Board Twitter account told parents and their children to “have an awesome week off everyone!"

With spring break, running from March 16 to March 20, is approaching, Emily Kournikova replied back to YRDSB, asking: “Can we please close the schools for 2 weeks after the March break as a COVID-19 spread preventive measure? Many people will be returning from their March break travels and our communities will be at an increased risk.”

Sema Gulluce, also reiterated a similar stance to Kournikova, when she wrote on Twitter: “I have been seriously thinking that we should establish an online system and close the schools for a while.”

“Are you planning this kind of prevention? Because it doesn’t mean anything if we are late,” Gulluce added.

But YRDSB had communicated that students travelling to high-risk areas should be quarantined for 14 days, and it's part of the three scenarios it gave for students who have decided to travel.

It urged students and their families to “self-isolate for 14 days after the time you left Iran or Hubei province,” and also called for the “monitoring” of symptoms related to COVID-19 — fever, new cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing — for 14 days after returning from other areas such as the U.S.

“The school board is taking this matter seriously and has taken measures to mitigate against the spread of the virus, including enhanced cleaning, reinforcing handwashing and cancelling trips to Europe to have taken place in March,” said YRDSB in an email. “We continue to follow the advice of our local, provincial and federal health authorities and have communicated all their messaging to our families."

UPDATE: Ontario government orders schools closed from March 14 until April 5

Ministry of Education says schools will remain closed afer March break in response to coronavirus crisis

News Mar 12, 2020 by Dina Al-Shibeeb YorkRegion.com

The provincial government has ordered that publicly funded schools will remain closed after March break and won't re-open again until April 5 in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

"The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government's number one priority," said Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education in a joint statement. "Since we first learned of COVID-19 as an emerging public health issue, Ontario has been diligently monitoring the developing situation to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.  We have also taken decisive action to ensure the province's health care system is positioned to be ready for any scenario."

The ministerial order from Lecce was issued based on advice from Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at the COVID-19 Command Table and approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

"We recognize the significant impact this decision will have on families, students, schools, as well as the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep people safe," the statement went on to say. "Today's steps build on a number of actions our government has taken in recent days to respond to COVID-19, including moving forward with additional public health measures, which include enhanced access to screening, expanding lab-testing capacity, and implementing new initiatives to keep the public and frontline workers safe. We are further setting aside up to $100 million in contingency funding in the upcoming 2020 budget to address challenges related to COVID-19."

Related Content

Prior to the announcement from the government, parents with children enrolled at public schools urged for more action.

On March 12, a day after WHO declared that COVID-19 is now a pandemic, the York Region District School Board Twitter account told parents and their children to “have an awesome week off everyone!"

With spring break, running from March 16 to March 20, is approaching, Emily Kournikova replied back to YRDSB, asking: “Can we please close the schools for 2 weeks after the March break as a COVID-19 spread preventive measure? Many people will be returning from their March break travels and our communities will be at an increased risk.”

Sema Gulluce, also reiterated a similar stance to Kournikova, when she wrote on Twitter: “I have been seriously thinking that we should establish an online system and close the schools for a while.”

“Are you planning this kind of prevention? Because it doesn’t mean anything if we are late,” Gulluce added.

But YRDSB had communicated that students travelling to high-risk areas should be quarantined for 14 days, and it's part of the three scenarios it gave for students who have decided to travel.

It urged students and their families to “self-isolate for 14 days after the time you left Iran or Hubei province,” and also called for the “monitoring” of symptoms related to COVID-19 — fever, new cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing — for 14 days after returning from other areas such as the U.S.

“The school board is taking this matter seriously and has taken measures to mitigate against the spread of the virus, including enhanced cleaning, reinforcing handwashing and cancelling trips to Europe to have taken place in March,” said YRDSB in an email. “We continue to follow the advice of our local, provincial and federal health authorities and have communicated all their messaging to our families."