Ontario students will not be returning to class following the April break, and Ontario schools will move to online-only for the time being.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on April 12, indicating that community spread of COVID-19 was a major point of concern.
"The problem is not in our schools it's in our community spread," said Ford. "Bringing our kids back to a congregate setting in our schools after a week off in the community is a risk I won't take."
Child care for non-school aged children will remain open, before and after school programs will be closed and free emergency child care for the school-aged children of eligible health care and frontline workers will be provided.
To protect the most vulnerable, boards will make provisions for continued in-person support for students with special education needs who require additional support that cannot be accommodated through remote learning.
"This was not a decision we made lightly, as we know how critical schools are to Ontario students. Our priority has always been to keep schools open, however sharply rising community transmission can put our schools and Ontario families at risk," said Education Minister Stephen Lecce.
"While Ontario's plan has kept schools safe, as confirmed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we are taking decisive and preventative action today to ensure students can safely return to learning in our schools."
Since April 8, the province has been under a provincewide Stay-at-Home order, requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise with your household in your home community, or for work that cannot be done remotely.
As Ontario's health care capacity is threatened, the Stay-at-Home order, and other new and existing public health and workplace safety measures, will work to preserve public health system capacity, safeguard vulnerable populations, allow for progress to be made with vaccinations and save lives.
With students moving to remote learning, vaccine prioritization of education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs across the province, and all education workers in select hot spot areas, starting with Peel and Toronto, will continue.