March Break postponed to April
Tim Brody - Editor
March Break has been postponed until April 12-16.
Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, made the announcement on Feb. 11 in Toronto.
“This decision was made with the best advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, including consultations with many local Medical Officers of Health,” Lecce said in a statement released by the Government of Ontario.
“Many students have been learning remotely since the start of 2021. It is critical we follow public health advice to protect schools and avoid a repeat of the concerning spike in youth-related cases over the winter break, when students and staff were out of schools for a prolonged period of time. We are taking this precaution based on advice from health experts, including the province’s Science Table and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, to help protect against the emerging COVID-19 variants of concern,” Lecce stated.
“We appreciate the hard work of students and staff in the education sector and I want to be clear: March break is being postponed, not cancelled. To keep schools open, we must keep them free of COVID-19. The actions announced today serve to limit opportunities for congregation - while reaffirming the evidence that schools are safe for students. By continuing to follow public health advice, and by introducing additional safety measures and more testing, we are supporting our collective efforts to keep COVID-19 from entering our schools,” he added.
Northwestern Health Unit Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kit Young Hoon shared with area media on Feb. 12, “The Province did consult all local medical officers of health on that decision. I have to say that was a really challenging decision.”
She added, “From my perspective anyway, for Northwestern Health Unit, it didn’t necessarily make a difference either way because we have not had a variant of concern in our area as of yet, or not relatively close to our area at this time, anyway. The main reason that they decided to delay the March Break was because of concerns of the variants, the potential of another increase in cases, so they felt that delaying it might help to prevent that from happening.”
“To me the decision seems reasonable considering everything that they have to think through, but from a Northwestern Health Unit perspective, I’m not sure if it makes much of a difference at this time anyway, based on the information we have.”