Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott, Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, made the announcement during a Thursday afternoon news conference at Queen’s Park.
“We want a safe break, a careful break, and one that’s at the right time,” Williams told reporters.
Lecce said postponing the break — a decision based on Williams’ advice — is an important way schools can help limit community transmission.
“I recognize this is one more change in a year that has been challenging for so many students and our education staff,” he said.
“But it is one made on the best advice of public health officials to keep them safe and to keep our schools open in this province.”
The province’s largest teachers’ union, the association representing public school boards and the Opposition New Democrats had all asked for the March break to go ahead as planned, saying families, students and teachers needed it.
The decision came as schools in southern Ontario are in the middle of a phased reopening after the government imposed a weeks-long shutdown due to soaring coronavirus cases.
Schools in Toronto, Peel Region and York Region are to reopen on Tuesday while schools in all other public health units reopened on Monday.
— With files from The Canadian Press