Fort Frances Delays Return to Classes After COVID-19 Numbers Spike

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COVID-19 Update

Fort Frances – COVID-19 Update – Students in Fort Frances are not headed back to class on Monday.

The Northwestern Health Unit say it is due to the increase in cases of COVID-19 in Fort Frances this weekend. :n collaboration with School Board partners, the Medical Officer of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit, Dr. Kit Young-Hoon, is recommending that Fort Frances schools delay in person learning for an additional two week period, January 11-15 and January 18-22.

Under Ontario Regulations 82/20 Section 2(2) (or as current), of the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c.17, the Medical Officer of Health is issuing the following instructions to schools and school boards within the municipality of Fort Frances, and to persons responsible for operating associated elementary and high schools, effective immediately.

• Delay the provision of in-person teaching or instructions to students who attend school in the municipality of Fort Frances until at least January 25, 2021

• Delay the provision of in-person teaching or instructions to students who attend schools where most of the staff are residents of Fort Frances, until at least January 25, 2021

Exception: In-person instruction to students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning and who wish to attend in-person instruction may continue.

This affects:
• St. Mary’s School
• Our Lady of the Way School – Stratton
• J.W. Walker Public School
• Robert Moore School
• Donald Young School
• Fort Frances Intermediate School and High School
• Crossroads Public School – Devlin
• Mine Centre Public School – Mine Centre
• Seven Generations Secondary School

These instructions do not apply to other schools that are not listed above or are not in the municipality of Fort Frances. These instructions also do not apply to day cares.

It is understood that this is a significant disruption to families in Fort Frances, but the numbers seen this weekend in the community can’t be ignored. The risk of COVID-19 is very real, there is evidence of community transmission, and keeping these schools in virtual learning at this time can reduce the risk of further infections. “We continue to monitor the situation in other communities and will take additional measures as necessary” states Dr. Young-Hoon.

Please continue to take all steps to limit close contact with those outside of your household, wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice physical distancing.

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