Pediatricians groups call for Ontario schools to reopen by January 17

Three groups of pediatricians are urging the Ontario government to resume personal learning by January 17.

The Canadian Pediatric Society, the Pediatrics Section of the Ontario Medical Association and the Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario are making the appeal in an open letter to Prime Minister Doug Ford and Education Secretary Stephen Lecce.

They say they understand that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is overwhelming hospitals and that governments must take action.

But, they say, “certain decisions and measures pose a much greater risk to children and young people than the virus itself.”

Ontario’s government announced Monday that instead of resuming classes on January 5 as scheduled, students would be remote learning until at least January 17.

It was a sea change for the county, which had previously described school closures as a last resort.

Ontario has seen a record number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks and reported a record high of 2,472 COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Friday.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 7, 2022.

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