Minister of Education and Chief Medical Official Gives Details of Return to Classroom

Focus will be on Rapid Testing, N95 masks for Educators and Vaccination of Eligible Population


The Province’s plan they say is focused on deploying rapid tests to Schools and Child Care Centers.

Staff and students will receive 2 rapid antigen tests each initially with more tests being shipped to schools to be on supply. They will be used on anyone when they are symptomatic while at school only. They will be available on a on-need basis.

There will be more than 10 million non-fit tested N95 masks distributed to teachers and child care staff and more than 4 million 3-ply masks for students. There will be regular ships to replenish the stock.

Ventilation improvements measures will be made at all schools across Ontario including more than 70,000 HEPA filter units have have already beenĀ  deployed and another 3,000 additional standalone units

Schools will have access to $1.6 billion dollars in resources to protect against Covid-19 with approximately 2350 projected additional staff to be hired.

Isolation periods of students who are symptomatic will be 5 days.

Principals will monitor ongoing absenteeism at each school and notify the Local Public Health Units and parents when it reaches 30% at the school. This level wouldn’t necessarily trigger a school closure.

New time-limited co-horting protocols and other restrictions, including lunch and recess, high contact sports and some extra curriculars.

In terms of Vaccination, the province has announced there will be dedicated education focused vaccination clinics, in addition to ones in place implemented by the Public Health Units.

There will be student based vaccination clinics to focus on the 5 to 11 year old age cohorts.

Retired teachers, principals and vice principals will see the re-employment rule extended to 95 days from the current 50 days.

First and second year teaching candidates will become eligible to provide temporary staffing stabilization in Ontario schools.

Alternate education plans may also be implemented including rotating/planned remote days if needed, the combining of classes and assigning students to different classes respecting class sizes.

Full details of the Province’s plan is below.