Ontario COVID-19 cases near 2,000 as schools set to stay closed until at least May

Premier, education minister scheduled to make an announcement at 1 p.m. ET

Ontario confirmed 260 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the provincial total to 1,966 as families learn that students won’t be going back to class until at least May.

The tally includes 33 deaths and 534 cases that are considered resolved.

An additional 4,280 people are awaiting test results, while a total of 51,629 tests have been approved.

The province has also offered this breakdown of the total cases since Jan. 15, 2020:

  • 49.8 percent are male, while 49.5 percent are female.
  • The median age is 50, ranging in age from less than one to 100 years of age.
  • Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 59.1 percent of cases in Ontario.
  • 25.7 percent had traveled in the 14 days prior to becoming ill. 
  • 10.2 percent had close contact with a confirmed case.
  • 16.8 percent neither traveled or had closed contact
  • 47.3 percent of cases have exposure information pending.
  • 10.9 percent of the cases were hospitalized.

Meanwhile, a senior government official told CBC Toronto that elementary and high school students in Ontario will be out of class until at least May.

Publicly-funded schools have been closed since March 14 on a ministerial order from Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Private schools were also closed a few days later as part of the province’s emergency declaration.

Schools were initially set to re-open on April 6, but both Premier Doug Ford and Lecce have conceded that the closures would need to be prolonged as the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario continues to increase. 

Ford and Lecce are set to speak with reporters at Queen’s Park at 1 p.m. ET. The news conference will be livestreamed in this story.

Lecce is also expected to announce an e-learning plan for the province’s students during COVID-19 school closures.

The government has been looking at ways to keep course work going while school closures continue, including through online classes.

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