Ontario to require all students to wash with soap

A provincial government has issued a directive for all students in public schools to wash their hands with soap.

The move comes after a national report found that more than 90 per cent of students in Ontario wash their own hands.

“I’m pleased to be announcing this mandatory requirement for students in our schools,” Education Minister Liz Sandals said in a statement Thursday.

“We’ve heard from many parents who want to ensure their children have access to soap at home.”

The new regulation comes on the heels of a national study released Thursday that found more than 87 per cent Americans use soap at least once a day.

Sandals says that, while soap is a very popular option, it can take longer than expected to get the soap on your hands.

Students have been allowed to use soap in their rooms since January 2018, and students have been asked to bring soap into the classroom.

The government says it is also making it easier for teachers to make soap at the end of the year, to make it available to parents for their students, and to ensure soap is available on school days.

The province has been making the soap available on the internet since late February, with the government estimating that about 30,000 students have used the soap at their homes.

Sandalls says that the initiative will be tested in the first half of 2019, with other steps being rolled out by the end.