Premier Ford provides a COVID-19 update | May 19

Premier Ford delivers remarks and participates in media availability, Queen's Park.

Video includes captions and an ASL interpreter on screen.

Today, Premier Doug Ford announced that Ontario's publicly funded schools will not re-open in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also provided additional updates on summer and day camp closures, emphasizing that his government will do whatever it takes to keep our children and students safe.

School Year Suspended

The Premier noted that after careful consideration and consultation with health experts, his government has decided that they are not going to open schools at this point in time. “But we have a plan to ensure that our children can continue their education outside of the classroom,” he said.

All students who were on track to graduate from secondary school before the initial school closure order was made in March will be able to graduate, and all students will receive report cards. The government is also working to make sure child-care centers can open safely during stage two of the re-opening process.

The Premier and his cabinet ministers also unveiled an expanded seven-point summer learning plan emphasizing that online learning would continue for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. In-person classes will not resume until at least after the summer break.

"The safety of our children is my top priority and one thing I will never do is take unnecessary risks when it comes to our children," Ford said.

You can read the full release here.

Summer Day Camps

For kids waiting to find out if they will go to camp this summer, Ford emphasized that overnight camps will remain closed. “Unfortunately, we just can’t have camps with 500 kids living together right now,” said the Premier. But summer day camps will be allowed to open in July and August with strict public health measures in place.

Ontario's State of Emergency Extended

The government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders, including restrictions on social gatherings, until May 29. While extending the emergency orders, the Ontario government also announced Tuesday it will now allow people to attend drive-in religious gatherings, as long as a series of strict guidelines are followed.

You can read the full release here.

Long-Term Care Being Reviewed

The Ontario Government is launching an independent commission to examine the province's long-term care homes and the circumstances that led to the deaths of more than 1,300 seniors during the COVID-19 crisis. The provincial government says the commission's work will begin in September, but crucial details — such as the terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission and reporting timelines — are still being finalized.

An independent commission would be able to hold public hearings, deliver a publicly accessible report and could finish its work much faster than a public inquiry.

You can read the full release here.

*Above summary by Enterprise Canada