For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.
The Ontario government announced 280,000 more students in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Middlesex-London, Southwestern Public Health and Ottawa will be going back to in-person learning on Feb. 1.
“The government agrees with the growing consensus in the medical community that returning students to in-person learning is essential to the wellbeing, development and mental health of children,” a statement from education minister Stephen Lecce reads.
“According to leading medical and scientific experts, including Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, our province's schools are safe places for learning.”
Masking protocols will include grades one to three, the province plans to expand access to asymptomatic COVID-19 testing and will implement “stricter screening protocols.”
This news comes as Ontario reported 2,093 new COVID-19 cases, including 700 cases in Toronto, 331 in Peel, 228 in York Region and 123 in Niagara.
The province confirmed 56 more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 6,014.
A total of 64,664 COVID-19 tests were completed in the last day, with 48,386 tests currently under investigation.
There are 229 long-term care homes with a reported outbreak, including 1,041 active resident cases and 938 active staff cases in the province.
A total of 1,338 people are in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19, including 358 in ICUs.