Ontario Premier Doug Ford says an announcement regarding schools in the province will be coming “in the next couple days.”
Ford made the remarks to a journalist at an unrelated event Tuesday when asked about the status of the return to school following the Christmas break amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.
“I know the [health] minister has been sitting down at the table along with the minister of education,” the premier said.
“We’ll be having an announcement in the next couple days, but we just want to see how things go and obviously speak to the chief medical officer, Dr. [Kieran] Moore.”
On Dec. 17, when the province announced new restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, Ford said no decision had yet been made on what will happen with schools in the new year.
“I want to speak directly to the parents out there,” Ford said at the time.
COVID-19: Ontario issues temporary restrictions on long-term care homes amid Omicron surge
“I know you’re concerned about your kids’ schools and what to expect after the new year. I can tell you this: no decision has been made on what that looks like yet. We are simply not in the position to say.
“The situation is evolving too quickly to be able to know where we’ll be in early January.”
Last week, Moore was also asked about what will happen to schools in the new year.
Despite uncertainties around the Omicron variant, Moore said at the time that experts he has consulted with currently “don’t see a reason” to make changes to the planned return.
He noted that Omicron doesn’t currently appear to have “any significant impact on children’s health,” referenced vaccinations among those aged 5 to 11, and said measures are in place to keep schools safe.
Ontario has since set records for daily COVID-19 cases, however. On Tuesday, 8,825 cases were reported. A record 10,412 were reported Saturday.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.