Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on Wednesday that schools will be kept closed for the remainder of the academic year.
Ford said that while discussion was long and serious, his medical team came to the conclussion that all schools would remain shut. This, Ford says, is because of new variants of concern, which can make younger people much sicker than the original COVID strain.
Ford would go on to say he hoped for a safe and normal return to school in September.
In a moment directly addressing young people and children across the province, Ford said: "Kids, I know this has been very, very hard on each and every one of you. I know it's been hard adjusting.
"You miss your friends, you miss school, you miss your sports and activities. And you're sick and tired of all this, I get it. I can't imagine what it's been like for you. I don't think as adults, we can really fully appreciate what it's been like for our kids."
"That's why I want schools to host in-person outdoor graduation events and other opportunities for you to meet with your friends, and reconnect outside before the end of the year," said Ford.
Ford said that he would work with the school boards and health units to make sure that there are outdoor graduation ceremonies "for all students, in all grades."
Ford has expressed hesitance at the idea of school reopenings, noting that his health and science team found that a reopening could result in a six to 11 percent increase in COVID transmissions.