By: Mike Anderson

The province has decided to close all publicly funded schools for a period of two-weeks after March break in response to growing concerns about the possible community spread of COVID-19.

A tweet from York Region District School Board (YRDSB) posted at approximately 4 p.m., March 12, reads:

“We have received notice from the Ontario Ministry of Education that all Ontario schools will remain closed for two weeks following the March break. All Ontario schools will be closed March 16 until April 5, 2020. Schools are expected to reopen Monday, April 6.”

This follows a joint statement released by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, on Ontario.ca, which reads:

“The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government’s number one priority. 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. Given the latest developments both internationally and here at home, today we are taking further action.

Based on advice from Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at the COVID-19 Command Table, the Minister of Education has issued a Ministerial Order to close all publicly funded schools in Ontario for two weeks following March break, in response to the emergence in Ontario of COVID-19. This order was approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

This means that Ontario schools have been ordered to remain closed from March 14 through to April 5, 2020.

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.”

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