COVID-19 Update

  • Community Update

Ontario is extending school and child care closures to battle agaisnt spread of COVID-19

Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government announced that schools and child care centres will remain closed to protect the health and safety of students and staff. This extension is being made on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

To ensure continuity of learning, the government is launching the second phase of Learn at Home. Developed in conjunction with education partners, the government is establishing clarity for parents, enhancing education supports, and creating opportunities for teachers and educators to connect with students.

As previously announced, no student will have their graduation compromised by COVID-19 and the Ministry of Education continues to collaborate with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to ensure that there will be no barriers to accessing postsecondary education.

Learn at Home

The second phase of Learn at Home features a new set of expectations for the education community, including:

  • Reconnecting students with teachers and other school staff, including mental health workers;
  • Re-establishing teacher-led learning by grade groupings as follows:
    • Kindergarten-Grade 3: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy and math)
    • Grades 4-6: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy, math, science and social studies)
    • Grades 7-8: 10 hours of work per student/week (focus on math, literacy, science and social studies)
    • Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students (focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation)
  • Leveraging digital resources and identifying alternative forms of teacher-student connectivity, such as phone and mail;
  • Developing a program of training for educators to support them in virtual learning delivery;
  • Requiring final report cards for all students;
  • Prioritizing and supporting students on track to graduate;
  • Distributing laptops and/or devices from schools as needed, while observing public health direction;
  • Maintaining a responsive posture for health care and community partner requests; and
  • Establishing formal COVID-19 working groups with education sector unions to work together, share ideas and to find solutions in the support of students.

In order to access educational platforms, follow the links below:

  • English and French-language materials will continue to be added to Learn at Home on a regular basis to provide new and compelling content throughout this period. Recent updates include supplemental STEM learning resources created by third-parties and a parent resource that is focused on reading and writing.
  • There are now 36 high-quality English courses and 47 French-language courses available for secondary students to review, refresh and extend their learning as part of independent study. 
  • TVO Kids offers educational programming throughout the day for school-aged children. Their broadcast schedule can be viewed here. TFO also offers a range of educational programming in French throughout the day for school-aged children. L’horaire de diffusion est disponible ici
  • Mathify provides real-time homework help led by OCT certified educators for students between Grades 6-10, six days a week, including weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
  • Eurêka! provides online learning support in French to students in Grades 1-12 with their school work and learning

Province Supports Postsecondary Students During COVID-19

The government of Ontario is easing the financial burden on students and making sure they can complete their studies during the COVID-19 outbreak by temporarily deferring payments for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans and making online learning supports, including year-end exams, available to postsecondary institutions.

To support borrowers during this difficult period, loan repayments will be subject to a six-month interest-free moratorium until September 30, 2020. This means that during this time, borrowers will not be required to make any loan payments and interest will not accrue on their OSAP loans. Borrowers can still make one-time payments via their online account or online banking if they want to repay their loans faster. Payments during this period will go entirely towards their loan principal.   

To ensure students can successfully complete the academic year, Ontario has finalized an agreement with eCampusOntario to make digital learning supports available to postsecondary institutions. These interim digital learning supports, available in both French and English, will provide publicly-assisted colleges and universities with the technology they need to conduct year-end assessments, while preserving student privacy and the integrity of academic assessment.

Ontario will work with other partners who may be interested in offering digital learning, such as Indigenous Institutes and private career colleges. Supports will be accessible on an as-needed basis and limited to those courses and programs where formal exams are required.

The province is also distributing $25 million in additional funding to publicly-assisted colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes to help address each institution’s most pressing needs in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak such as deep cleaning, purchasing medical supplies or offering mental health supports.

Additional Resources

Ontario Protecting Seniors During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Ontario government is working with businesses, volunteer organizations and non-profits to make it easier for Ontario’s seniors to self-isolate and practice physical distancing during this unprecedented time by ensuring they can receive the support they need to stay safe and healthy. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is strongly urging those over the age of 70 or those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions to stay at home.

The government is investing $10 million to help community organizations with the coordination of subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other necessities to seniors. This investment doubles the government’s initial commitment in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. The government is also working with grocers and pharmacists to prioritize seniors’ delivery orders and establish senior-only shopping hours.

The government is also working with province-wide organizations including Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) and Older Adults Centres’ Association of Ontario (OACAO) to identify and mobilize potential volunteer supports and expand the use of innovative technologies in the community to address social isolation and support daily living assistance.

This $10 million delivery coordination program for seniors living at home is in addition to the $20 million over two years the province has invested to protect seniors in retirement homes through increased infection control and active screening procedures and $243 million for long-term care homes to support 24/7 screening, additional staffing, enhanced cleaning and sanitation, and additional surge capacity.

The government is implementing a new emergency order to ensure that staffing and resources are available to help care for and protect long-term care residents, providing further flexibility and allowing homes to redirect their staffing and financial resources to essential tasks. This is in addition to implementing a new approach to redeploying highly qualified inspectors to support long-term care homes on the ground through staff supply, care coordination, and helping homes prevent and contain infections. 

New $50 million Ontario Together Fund will support the development of essential equipment and supplies

To stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe, the Ontario government is launching a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. This new Fund will support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal.

The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

In addition, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade have worked closely with businesses across Ontario and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association to ramp up production of ventilators to meet the need in Ontario and other parts of Canada. The government has recently placed an order with O-Two Medical Technologies who, with the support of Ontario’s world-class manufacturing sector, will produce 10,000 ventilator units.

The government will be looking for the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario. The government is providing one-time funding of $50 million in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is time-limited and will be available to companies and organizations across the province.

The following websites will have daily updates availabe:


ontario.ca/coronavirus
Information from Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

Find out how to protect yourself, what to do if you’re sick and how to recognize possible symptoms. Updated twice daily, in 30 languages.

toronto.ca/coronavirus
Information from Toronto Public Health
 on local cases, how to protect yourself and where to seek further medical support.

canada.ca/coronavirus
Information from the Government of Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada
Updates on the national response, travel advice and preparedness.

travel.gc.ca
Important travel advisories and restrictions related to COVID-19, from the Government of Canada.