The Ontario government announced Tuesday that it is cancelling standardized tests for elementary and high school students throughout the province for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the move was being made in light of the “immense pressures” students are facing in their academic careers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past days, my Ministry has consulted with parents, students, educators, and administrators, on the future of standardized testing for elementary and secondary students. Following our consultation, and as part of our plan to protect students and staff, all remaining standardized tests for the 2019-2020 school year have been cancelled,” Lecce said in a statement.

Lecce said the cancellation of the EQAO tests will not impede student graduation.

“We will continue to follow the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to ensure the safety of all students and staff,” he said.

The province announced last week that all taxpayer-funded schools would be closed for at least two weeks past the March break in order to help prevent further spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday morning, premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in the province as businesses schools, universities and public spaces shut down to contain the spread of COVID-19.