Internal government documents show how Ontario ‘watered down’ its strategies to keep COVID-19 out of classrooms

"It looks like, originally, they had a lot of things covered, but what they ended up implementing ... was ‘plan lite.’ You know, let’s take it, but massage it so it’s not as stringent, not as costly."

Last summer, as Ontario’s schools were preparing to reopen, the Ministry of Education drafted a memo to school officials, highlighting COVID testing as critical to keeping classrooms safe.

Ontario will expand public health capacity to “test, track and support” anyone in the school community who might be COVID positive, and allow for “substantial surveillance testing,” said a draft of the memo, never before seen by the public and obtained by the Star through freedom of information legislation.

“There will be a proportional investment in lab capacity to ensure timely processing of tests,” the memo states.

This is not what happened.

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Written by Rachel Mendleson
Toronto Star
January 21, 2021
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Contributed by the Here For Students Staff
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