May 19, 2020 / 5:24 PM / 5 days ago

Ontario schools to remain shut through current school year: premier

FILE PHOTO: Ontario Premier Doug Ford is seen after a meeting with Canada's provincial premiers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - Schools in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, will remain closed for the rest of the school year through the end of June, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Doug Ford said on Tuesday.

All provincial schools were shut in mid-March in an effort to contain the new coronavirus, which has killed 1,919 people in the province, according to the latest data.

“The safety of our children is my top priority,” Ford told reporters. “We cannot open schools at this time. I’m just not going to risk it.” Ford said.

A detailed plan about how schools will restart in September, including school size, will be announced by end June, Education Minister Stephen Lecce, told the media briefing.

Ontario on Tuesday allowed some retailers and auto dealers to open their doors to customers after nearly two months of shutdown.

Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Chris Reese and Marguerita Choy

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