School reopening announcement expected today

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Ontario parents, teachers and students are still anxiously awaiting the formal announcement from Premier Doug Ford about whether or not schools will be reopening along with the rest of the province in the coming weeks, but it seems that the province has already made its decision on the subject. He will be joined by Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Health Minister Christine Elliott.

CTVNewsWindsor.ca will stream the news conference live.

In an open letter to 55 individuals and organizations, Ford asked a number of questions to determine whether it would be possible to have students return to in-person learning before the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.

The schools announcement comes as Ontario's stay-at-home order lifts, but most other public health measures remain in place.

Sources told CTV News Toronto that Ford was not willing to reopen schools until the fall, but the decision is expected to be finalized during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, and will be announced shortly after.

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The changes announced last week are linked to more people getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and hospitalization numbers dropping. Kenney says Tuesday's announcement doesn't mean those who haven't booked their first dose have lost their spot in line.

The province is aiming to start reopening the economy later this month with looser rules on businesses and outdoor activities.

Last week, Ford sent a letter to various stakeholders, including the advisory tables, health officials, school boards and teachers, asking for advice on whether it would be safe to reopen for in-person learning.

Among those voices are Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.

In it, Ford wrote "no one wants to see our schools reopen safely more than I do", adding that while his government understands the benefits of having kids return to class, it can only be done based on "sound scientific advice, consensus and considers potential or future risks faced by students and staff".

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