Ontario won’t tell parents of school outbreak unless 30% out

Ontario officials say parents will not be notified of a COVID-19 outbreak at their child’s school until there is 30% absenteeism rate among staff and students.

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce also said Wednesday that students will return to classrooms Monday. Teachers and staff will be provided with non-fitted N95 masks.

The government said earlier this month that online learning would run until at least Jan. 17 amid a surge in infections with the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Ontario students have spent more time learning online during the pandemic than their peers elsewhere in Canada and the U.S.

Students and staff in Ontario schools will each eventually get two rapid tests to use if they develop COVID-19 symptoms, but they won’t know if large numbers of their peers and colleagues are off sick until a third of the school is absent.