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Coronavirus: Ontario’s post-secondary schools set to reopen in July

Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario announces new framework for reopening of universities, colleges
WATCH ABOVE: Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Ross Romano announced on Wednesday a new framework for reopening of universities and colleges, saying that will begin as early as July 2. The program would conclude by September and students who can participate include those considered “academically-stranded” and those who would have graduated by now if they could have attended in-person to complete lab and practicum requirements.

The Ontario government unveiled its plan to reopen post-secondary institutions after being were forced to close due to coronavirus pandemic.

Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano announced on Wednesday that limited in-person education and training could start on post-secondary campuses starting in July.

Romano said the plan was created in consultation with Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario allows child-care centres to reopen Friday

The summer session will be for students “in areas of high labour market demand” such as nursing, personal support worker, welding and engineering who need to complete a lab or practicum course component to graduate.

In September, students will be able to learn in a multitude of formats including online, in-class and a hybrid format between the two methods.

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It was also announced there will be strict limits on the number of students per campus.

Coronavirus: Ontario daycares scramble to reopen
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The government said the limited summer session will allow for schools to have proper health protocols in place for when the fall semester begins, adding a more detailed framework outlining the return to school will be released “in the coming days.”

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Romano said it is “critical” to allow students to be able to graduate in order to help join the workforce and “help put the province back on the path to prosperity.”

READ MORE: Ontario reopening Stage 2: Groups of 10 allowed, places of worship to reopen amid coronavirus pandemic

“I will continue to collaborate with the postsecondary sector to determine how best to move forward on reopening our campuses in the fall and beyond in a way that is responsible and safe for our students and staff,” he said.

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Ontario reported 251 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and 11 more deaths.

The province now has a total of 31,341 cases, including 2,475 deaths and 25,380 resolved cases — 551 more than the previous day.

— With files from The Canadian Press