Most Ontario students return to school without COVID restrictions

Students across much of Ontario are returning to the classroom today for the first start of the school year without COVID-19 restrictions since the pandemic began.

Students in the province, who resume class Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the district, will be able to attend class without wearing a mask, while in-person lessons will trump remote options.

Students will also have access to extracurricular activities for the first time since the pandemic began, as the province’s education minister Stephen Lecce stressed the need for the return to the “full student experience” earlier in the summer.

Ontario’s top doctor announced last week that people who test positive for COVID-19 no longer have to isolate for five days, but can return to work or school once their fever is gone and their other symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.

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Back to school: Experts urge masking, vaccination as COVID-19 fall wave looms

Moore said people should wear a mask for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and keep up-to-date with their vaccinations, calling the combination a “pragmatic and practical” approach for work and school environments.

But the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation say they’re worried allowing children and educators to return to the classroom while still potentially contagious could cause the virus to spread faster in schools.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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