Schools ordered to move learning online in Sudbury in response to COVID risk

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SUDBURY, Ont. — Schools in the Sudbury, Ont., area are being ordered to move classes online starting Monday as the region enters a lockdown to counter concerning COVID-19 trends.

The health unit's top doctor ordered the school closure Thursday that affects all public and private schools except for those in Chapleau, Ont.

Dr. Penny Sutcliffe says the health unit has reached a "tipping point" where the risks of COVID-19 transmission outweigh the benefits of in-person learning.

She says it's an additional layer of protection on top of the province-ordered lockdown, which took effect Friday, saying public health is at capacity to manage cases.

Ontario used its "emergency brake" measure to move Sudbury into the strictest "grey lockdown" zone of its pandemic framework, citing a case rate increase of 54 per cent between March 3 and March 9.

The health unit says the end date for the school closures and the lockdown will depend on the number of cases, the spread of more contagious variants, active outbreaks and capacity of the health-care system.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press