SAULT STE MARIE -- Sault Ste Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano is urging parents to take advantage of virtual learning if they are able to do so. 

His call comes as the elementary school students return to class as the COVID-19 lockdown continues.

"Those of us who are able to keep our kids at home, we make the class size smaller, and I think it's really important that the class sizes are smaller now," said Provenzano, who opted for virtual learning for his child.

Early figures from the Algoma District School Board (ADSB) show many parents are indeed choosing online learning for their children.

"Some schools as low as 10 per cent of the students that come in person and up to 50 per cent," said Jennifer Sarlo, ADSB chair. "So we're thankful we're able to accommodate our parents and our school community today and people can make the choice they feel is best for their family."

Attendance figures from the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board were not immediately available.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Algoma District has doubled since Christmas Eve, logging 65 new cases and resolving 21. 

While all in-person classes were scheduled to resume Monday, health officials ordered high schools to delay return until Jan. 25 after a surge in new infections.

As of Monday afternoon, the Algoma District had 47 active cases of the disease after resolving 10 more cases. There have been no COVID-related deaths in the Algoma District.