Haliburton students will not return to in-person classes until Jan. 25 and will instead continue teacher-led online learning.

The province announced today that elementary students in the southern group of health units, previously scheduled to return to in-person classes Jan. 11, will not do so until Jan 25. That includes the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. This aligns with the return date for secondary school classes.

“I have and remain firmly committed to getting students back into class as soon as possible – there is nothing more important. However, the best medical and scientific experts have been clear: while schools have been safe places for kids, the sharp rise in community transmission puts that progress and Ontario families at risk,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said in a press release. “During this time, students will remain engaged in live teacher-led online learning with access to enhanced mental health and technology supports.”

The province pointed to rising COVID rates amongst 12-13 year-olds. The positivity rate was approximately 5.44 per cent in late November and early December, compared to nearly 20 per cent in early January. COVID cases also continue to rise, with more than 3,500 new cases reported in the province today.

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