Elementary students to continue remote school until Jan. 25 as COVID-19 cases rise
Province says positive rate among school-aged children 'increased sharply' during holidays
Elementary school students in Hamilton, Niagara and across the province will be learning remotely until Jan. 25 as the province tries to tamp down the spread of COVID-19 across Ontario.
The original strategy delayed the start of in-person classes until Jan. 11 for elementary school students and Jan. 25 for secondary students in southern Ontario.
The provincial government made the announcement of its new plan Thursday afternoon.
"We have to get the numbers down and today's measures will help us continue to stop the spread of this deadly virus," read a statement attributed to Premier Doug Ford.
His government says its targeted testing done among students and staff in December showed schools "are not a significant source of transmission" but say the positive rate among school-aged children "increased sharply" with reports of "concerning behaviour over the holidays."
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 according to the province.
"With the public health trends where they are across the province, our priority remains keeping students, teachers, school staff, and all Ontarians safe," read Ford's statement.
Families of elementary students started this week thinking they would be back in class next Monday.
Mass internet outages disrupted the first day of remote learning for many families.
More to come.