Ont. back-to-school effort roiled by absences, Que. looks to incentivize vaccination


Published January 24, 2022 at 1:51 pm

New data out of Ontario shows many of its schools were hit by high rates of absences when in-person classes resumed last week, as Quebec today rolls out its next step in encouraging vaccination against COVID-19.

More than 300 Ontario schools reported absence rates higher than 30 per cent by the end of last week, which saw planned classroom reopenings disrupted by harsh winter conditions in much of the province.

The numbers don’t indicate the reasons behind the absences nor whether they are related to COVID-19. Ontario is no longer publishing information on cases in schools due to a restricted testing policy, but began sharing data on absences online today.

As of Friday, 337 schools had absent rates of at least 30 per cent, including 111 schools that were more than half empty. That’s based on numbers made available for 3,451 of the province’s 4,844 schools.

Meanwhile, Quebec extended its proof-of-vaccination requirements to apply to big-box stores, such as Walmart and Costco. 

Later today, deputy health minister Lionel Carmant will unveil the government’s plan to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2022.

The Canadian Press

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising