As expected this afternoon Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that schools across the province will remain closed for the rest of this academic year, which is about three weeks.
Students did not return to in-class learning following the break in April, and many parents expected students would at least get back to the class room for a couple of weeks.
His own Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David William’s, urged the premier to reopen the schools.
The case load of COVID-19 and daily infection rates have dropped dramatically and the vaccine rate is growing.
Last week Ford reached out to hospitals, health and education leaders in the form of a questionnaire.
He said they couldn’t give him the answers he wanted.
“ Here is what the experts couldn’t say. They couldn’t tell us that returning to in-class learning, before more teachers and students are vaccinated, won’t lead to thousands, and thousands of new cases. In fact, we have seen clearly in the modeling numbers from Dr. Brown in returning teachers and kids back to school before they are vaccinated will lead to thousands of new cases. The experts couldn’t tell us that it wouldn’t risk spreading dangerous variants, and avoid us from moving to other stages, I won’t risk the health of our kids”.
He was asked if he is choosing the economy over education.
“ What I am choosing is avoiding 2 million kids going indoors for 8 hours a day for a two or three week period. Right now we don’t have enough kids vaccinated, we don’t have enough teachers vaccinated. All I have heard from the Doctors, and we have all heard the same thing. Indoors bad, Outdoors good”.
He insists he is excited to get kids into summer camps, and back playing sports as soon as possible.