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Coronavirus: Some students return to school amid Omicron

Coronavirus: Some students return to school amid Omicron

Millions more Canadian students will return to school today as officials in four provinces work to protect classrooms from COVID-19 and the threat of staffing shortages caused by Omicron.

Students in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia are returning to class after starting the new year online due to a record number of cases.

Provinces said the return to remote learning was intended to ease pressure on the health care system and give schools more time to improve safety measures.

Rolling out rapid antigen tests and improving air quality in schools are among the steps governments say they have taken ahead of the return to class, with some of the work still ongoing.

Still, some parent and teacher unions fear these efforts are not enough to keep classrooms safe and ensure there are enough staff available to keep schools running.

Officials and school boards have told parents there are contingency plans in place, but to expect a potential return to online learning if the spread of the virus forces enough people to isolate.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 17, 2022.