Dufferin News

WDGPH Delays Return to In-Class Learning

WDGPH Delays Return to In-Class Learning

Before the provincial government was set to make its announcement regarding whether or not students would be returning to in-class learning on January 11, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) notified the public that the region’s Medical Officer of Health had already made a decision.

On January 7th, 2021, Dr. Nicola Mercer directed school boards and private schools in the area to continue with online-only instruction until January 24, 2021, at the earliest. This pertains to both elementary and secondary schools. In-person assistance will still be provided to students with special education requirements who cannot be served through remote learning.

“The importance of in-class education on the overall health, well-being and development of our children remains the foundation of our education system,” stated Dr. Nicola Mercer. “However, with a significant rise in cases across our region and evidence of transmission among school-aged children, we must make this difficult decision to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our region safe.”

In her letter to Upper Grand District School Board, Mercer highlights that the 7-day moving rate of cases per 100,000, per week, within Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph is 123, as of January 6, 2021. She notes that this is a ‘significant’ increase since the least day of school in December and that this number continues to rise. It is also stated that they are still receiving reports of cases in school age children within their jurisdiction due to community transmission.

“As a parent myself, I know this will be a challenge for many families in the region,” said Dr. Mercer. “Thank you for your continued sacrifices to reduce the threat of COVID-19 to our children and our region. To our teachers, staff, administrators and boards, thank you for continuing to deliver exceptional education during these difficult times.”

WDGPH states that its instructions will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to determine when schools can be re-opened safely.

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