Province to begin vaccinating education workers over Spring Break starting with special needs teachers

All students and education workers will have access to COVID-19 testing centres over the break

Amid the provincial government’s announcement on Wednesday of another stay-at-home order was news that vaccines will soon be provided to educators.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that vaccines will be made available to special education teachers across the province, starting the week of April 12. Following that, all education workers, from principals to education assistants to bus drivers, will be given access to a vaccine, starting in hot spots Toronto and Peel Region.

Lecce also announced on Wednesday that all COVID-19 assessment centres and those pharmacies that offer COVID-19 testing will be made available to students and education workers over the Spring Break. This is regardless of whether symptoms are present, a prerequisite for others to seek testing. “we are now providing access provincewide to all assessment centers and pharmacies for both the symptomatic that existed and asymptomatic testing,” said Lecce. “That is a significant improvement and enhancement to access to testing in your neighbourhood.”

The Education Minister also announced on Wednesday that he is mandating on-site confirmation for self-screening of students and staff, and not just high school students as was the case previously. Students and staff should expect a refresher course on required safety protocols after the break has ended.

Despite the increased measures being taken to protect schools and the people within, Minister Lecce insists that they remain safe for student learning. “We know from the Chief Medical Officer of Health who has confirmed as recently as yesterday, that schools in this province have demonstrated an incredible level of resilience, have worked very well in keeping COVID out of them and keeping our students safe,” commented Lecce.