Ontario students won’t be getting an extended winter break this holiday season, despite a stressful few months of being back in class.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce made the announcement earlier this week at Queen’s Park, citing Ontario’s school boards strong safety measures and protocols.

“Ontario’s safe schools plan has worked to keep students safe from COVID-19, while allowing them to continue their learning journey and resume safe social interactions with their friends and classmates.”

“We have consulted with the Chief Medical Officer of Health as well as the Public Health Measures Table and have determined that an extended winter holiday is not necessary at this time, given Ontario’s strong safety protocols, low levels of transmission and safety within our schools.”

Lecce adds that 99.96 per cent of Ontario students have not contracted COVID-19, 99.7 per cent of staff have not contracted COVID-19, and 86 per cent of schools have not had a confirmed case of the illness.

Out of Ontario’s 4,828 schools, 680 have confirmed a case of COVID-19. There’s been 3,710 school-related cases of COVID-19 as of the time of writing. Out of the 3,710 cases, 476 of them have been found in staff members.

Locally, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and Kenora Catholic have each confirmed one case of COVID-19 in their respective schools. One was in St. Louis in Kenora, while the other was found in Open Roads in Dryden.

For more information:
Affected Open Roads class to learn virtually
Haime details COVID-19 response at St. Louis