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COVID-19: Ontario cabinet to meet Monday to consider new pandemic measures

Officials worked on new recommendations through the weekend that will be presented to cabinet tonight

TORONTO — Ontario's cabinet is set to meet later today to consider new measures to combat skyrocketing rates of COVID-19. 

A government source says officials worked on new recommendations through the weekend that will be presented to cabinet tonight. 

The meeting comes ahead of new COVID-19 projections that are set to be made public on Tuesday. 

Premier Doug Ford has said the projections are very concerning and warned of "rough waters" ahead. 

As of Sunday, the seven-day average for new infections was 3,546.

Officials in government and health-care have warned that the trend will worsen, putting strain on the health-care system. 

Ford said Friday that the current provincewide lockdown could extend past January, along with new public health measures to respond to rising infections.

Meanwhile, elementary school students across northern Ontario returned to in-class learning Monday morning.

The northern portion of the province is allowed to return to school buildings as positivity rates for COVID-19 in that region are relatively low.

All students began their winter term with online learning this month and the government announced last week that students in southern Ontario will continue attending classes remotely until at least Jan. 25.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Saturday that the list of essential workers eligible for emergency child care would be expanded.

It now includes RCMP officers, custodial and clerical education workers and postal staff. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2021.

The Canadian Press