Dufferin News

WDGPH Halts In-Person Learning at Local Schools Apr 7

WDGPH Orders All Schools To Stop In-Class Teaching Starting Wednesday, April 7

On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in-person learning will temporarily be discontinued in Dufferin’s schools, as well as Wellington and Guelph. This is a result of Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH), issuing a Section 22 Order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, after meeting with the Directors of Education for the area’s school boards.

“I wish this step was not required,” said Dr. Mercer. “ I know the tremendous burden this places on families in our region.”

According to WDGPH, there has been a ‘troubling rise in cases of COVID-19 among children,’ and that the decision of switching to remote learning received the support of all five local school boards.

“The growing number of cases across the province and the severity of the COVID-19 variants of concern places us all at risk,” explained Dr. Mercer.

The order applies to schools located within Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph belonging to Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB), Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB), Conseil scolaire Viamonde, Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir , and Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB).

UGDSB schools will shift to remote learning on Wednesday, April 7, as per a separate news release put out by the school board. This includes students in specialized DD class placements. In-person learning will still take place on April 6, and students requiring technology for remote learning will receive it.

The three schools belonging to DPCDSB in Dufferin will also switch to remote learning on April 7. DPCDSB says self-contained special education classes and programs are included too. This follows the board’s Peel schools being ordered to switch to remote learning on April 6.

For both school boards, Spring Break is currently still scheduled to take place from April 12-16.

According to the news release put out by WDGPH, the earliest schools would be eligible to resume in-person learning is Monday, April 19, 2021. There could be an extension of the order if the risk level does not lower significantly. Childcare located at schools is not affected by this order.

“We continue to take aggressive steps on COVID-19 vaccinations; that is the only way out of this pandemic. Until we reach significant levels of vaccination, we remain at risk,” said Dr.Mercer, who urged the community to follow public health guidelines.

As of WDGPH’s last update on its progress administering the vaccine for COVID-19, which was April 1, 2021, 17.3% of the WDG population had been vaccinated at a local clinic. As of this reporting, the stated goal is currently 75%. It is expected to be updated Tuesday, April 6, after the Easter weekend.

Although news releases on the matter went out on April 5, 2021, the official announcement of the order is April 6, and will be available on WDGPH’s website.

Reference Links: WDGPH Halts In-Person Learning at Local Schools Apr 7

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