"The data shows that schools have remained safe through this pandemic as confirmed by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and local Medical Officers of Health", said Minister Lecce's spokesperson, Caitlin Clark.
Clark says in the midst of the third wave, 98.7 percent of schools are open and that of the schools that are now closed, 30 percent are due to a lack of staffing and "not due to COVID outbreaks or transmission".
They're asking for stronger measures than the current province-wide shutdown, pointing to case numbers that continued to rise in Toronto and Peel during the Grey-Lockdown, which had restrictions very similar to the shutdown.
Waterloo Region's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, provided the following statement to 570 NEWS.
In a news conference today, Ford said the government made a "massive move" by "shutting down the entire province" April 3.
Students and teachers will transition back to virtual classes starting on Wednesday, with the City of Toronto stating on Tuesday afternoon that "difficult decisions must be taken locally to protect all those in our school communities".
The province's latest epidemiological modelling predicted case numbers of 6,000 per day could be seen by the end of April if the province doesn't enact a Stay-at-Home order.
Munter says schools "should be the last to close and the first to open".
"Children who face the most harm from the loss of in-person learning are often the ones most at risk". Dr. Eileen de Villa of Toronto, Dr. Lawrence C. Loh of Peel Region, and Dr.
The three public health leads also called on Williams to review and trim the essential businesses list, impose travel restrictions between other regions within Ontario, introduce emergency paid sick leave and move schools to online or hybrid learning in areas where school outbreaks are significant.
The abrupt move indicates how seriously health officials are taking accelerated transmission and new variants of concern, given that Premier Doug Ford has said time and time again that keeping schools open is of the utmost important to students' education, socialization and mental health.
About 83,000 COVID-19 tests were administered since Saturday's report.