There is still no clear plan for a return to school in Ontario.
The province has said a plan for schools would be released in July, but now it looks like it could be several more weeks.
Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore is consulting on the plan and says the goal is for a full and nearly normal return to school that includes in-person learning and extracurricular activities.
Moore does say that students aged 12 to 17 who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 will be subject to stricter isolation rules in the event of virus outbreaks this fall.
Moore says students who are fully vaccinated against the virus will have to take tests if they’re in contact with a high-risk person.
Students who test negative can go back to school, but those who aren’t immunized will be off school for a minimum of 10 days.
Moore says unvaccinated students will have to take a second COVID test after about seven days, and they could be out of class for up to 20 days depending on the result.
As far as rules about masking and physical distancing, Moore says they are still working that out.
Moore also said he doesn’t think there needs to be mandatory vaccines for teachers at this point.
He says measures that were in place in schools last year did a good job to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“Adding a significant proportion of students or workers that are immunized only further promotes the safety of the school setting,” said Moore.
There have been 15,292 COVID-19 cases reported in Ontario schools since the pandemic began.