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No extended winter holidays for Ontario's students: Lecce

Ontario students will not have extended winter break

The province reported 1,417 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce reports 1,449 COVID-19 swabs (tests) were taken at assessment centres in Ottawa on November 18.

In long-term care homes, 619 residents now have COVID-19 and 15 new deaths have been reported Thursday.

The Ford government is considering moving Toronto and Peel Region into a modified lockdown in relation to province's COVID-19 colour-coded framework.

According to a provincial press release, the campaigns will involve more than 200 provincial offences officers from a number of ministries, and are being planned for seven communities, including Ottawa, Eastern Ontario, Toronto and York Region. There are 142 COVID patients in intensive care units (reduced from 146 yesterday) and there are 92 COVID patients on ventilators (up by four from yesterday).

The head of the Ontario Hospital Association said Thursday that the feared scenario was now a reality.

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said following consultation with public health officials, there is no need to an extended winter break for Ontario students.

"Ontario's Safe Schools Plan has worked to keep students safe from COVID-19, while allowing them to continue their learning journey and resume safe social interactions with their friends and classmates", said Lecce. Both areas are registering consistently high daily case counts and alarming test positivity rates.

Newly reported cases have been consistently over 1,000 for the last 15 days, with Friday's 1,396, Thursday's 1,575, Wednesday's 1,426, Tuesday's 1,388, Monday's 1,242, Sunday's 1,328, and Saturday's 1,132. The COVID-19 death toll in the region rose by one, to 68.