ONTARIO – On Wednesday, Jan. 12 Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced several initiatives the government was introducing to keep students safe from COVID-19 as they prepare for a planned return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 17.
“We are meeting the unique challenges presented by the Omicron variant head-on as we do everything we can to support in-person learning,” said Lecce. “Our government is taking nothing for granted, which is why we are launching school-based vaccination clinics, distributing millions of rapid antigen tests and have deployed non-fit-tested N95 masks to staff and three-ply masks to students.”
The province will be sending parents letters in the coming days to give their permission to the local health unit to vaccinate their child at an at-school vaccination clinic.
Along with the vaccination clinics, the province will also be taking the following measures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools:
- Provide access to more than 10 million non-fit-tested N95 masks to all education and child care staff.
- Deploy an additional 3,000 standalone HEPA filter units to learning environments.
- Updated and stricter screening requirements for students and staff, including daily onsite confirmation of screening.
- New time-limited cohorting protocols to limit direct and indirect contacts by pausing high-contact extra curricular sports, stricter lunch cohort requirements, and elevated cleaning requirements at all schools.