Ontario premier to be tested for COVID-19 after minister comes in contact with positive case
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford will be getting tested for COVID-19 today after Education Minister Stephen Lecce came into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, a government spokesperson says.
The government said that minister Lecce was tested for the novel coronavirus and the results have since come back negative.
"Yesterday I was notified I have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. I have been tested and I've been in isolation since, working from home," Lecce said in a statement on Wednesday.
It's unclear when or where Lecce came into contact with the infected person.
Regardless, the premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, both of whom were present at Tuesday’s news conference alongside Lecce, will also undergo a test for COVID-19.
"Both will continue to monitor for symptoms and take appropriate action as necessary," a spokesperson for the government said Wednesday.
The premier's office said it would notify the public once they receive the results of the test.
Ford was scheduled to attend an announcement at Queen's Park on Wednesday, but his name, as well as Elliot's, were removed from the list of speakers moments before the news conference.
In their absence, Ross Romano, minister of colleges and universities, announced a framework for the reopening of Ontario’s post-secondary sector, but admitted he too had only learned of the situation minutes before the event began.
"I certainly can't speak to what anybody else is thinking. I can tell you that I know our premier is acting out of an extreme abundance of caution and he wants to ensure that everybody here on the premise of Queen's Park is safe," Romano said while taking questions.
Details on reopening Ontario's post-secondary schools
The news comes as the province released its framework for reopening post-secondary schools which have been closed for months.
Starting on July 2, the province says that "limited in-person education and training" will restart for "academically stranded" students who were not able to graduate due to COVID-19 closures.
"This first phase will allow institutions to reopen to provide in-person instruction to students in essential, frontline, and high labour market demand areas, such as nursing, personal support workers, engineering, and other critical professions. Thousands of students across the province could benefit from this summer's reopening," the province said in a news release issued today.
Romano says the plan was developed in consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams as well as post-secondary institutions to ensure the health and safety of participating students.
"We worked together with our sector through numerous consultations and discussions with presidents (of post-secondary institutions) coming up with a number of health and safety protocols that we believe the sector can follow and that would ensure the health and safety of every person who would attend."
Romano added that the partial summer reopening will help post-secondary institutions prepare for the fall term by ensuring proper health and safety protocols are in place by that time.
The province says that in September, all students will have the opportunity to attend post-secondary education through virtual learning, in-class instruction, or hybrid formats.