Ministry health

Masks will remain optional in Ontario classrooms next year, Ministry of Education says

Face masks will remain optional in Ontario schools when students return to class this fall, the Ministry of Education said.

In a statement, a spokesman for Education Minister Stephen Lecce said he was following “expert advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.”

The province lifted Ontario’s mask mandate in schools on March 21, allowing students to decide if they want to wear a mask indoors. The move is part of a wider relaxation of measures, particularly mask requirements, in the spring.

Read more:

Ontario Minister of Education wants after-school activities to be offered in September

Lecce emphasized a return to “uninterrupted safe classrooms” in September, announcing in late July that he wanted extracurricular activities to run as normal when school resumes.

The story continues under the ad

“It starts with being in class, on time, with the full school experience coupled with historic mental health and tutoring supports,” the Lecce office said.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said Friday that the seventh wave of COVID-19 in Ontario has peaked.

“I think we’ve already started to slow down,” he said.

Looking ahead to the fall, a new wave of COVID-19 may not be as severe as Moore would have predicted a few months ago, he said, although colder weather pushing more Indoor activities increase the risk.

Read more:

Ontario’s 7th wave of COVID-19 has peaked, says province’s top doctor

Ontario schools will continue to provide access to rapid COVID-19 testing.

“On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we have taken action by deploying more than 100,000 stand-alone HEPA filtration units in classrooms and learning spaces, improving cleaning and continuing access to rapid antigen tests,” the Lecce spokesperson added.

— with files from The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.