Almost 18% of Ontario schools report at least one COVID-19 case, with 23 officially closing since schools reopened in January.
On Monday, Ontario schools reported 17.8% of schools are reported a case of the virus. Over a 24 hour period from March 10 to March 11, 110 new cases were reported.
Now 840 schools have reported a case out of the 4,828 public schools in the entire province.
A total of 202 schools in Toronto have a virus case – the most of any region in the province. Ottawa has the second-highest count with 74 schools, followed by Brampton with 61 schools.
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Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that enhanced safety supports would be provided to the schools, such as mandating Grades 1 to 3 to wear masks, targeted asymptomatic testing, stricter screening protocols, and hiring more teachers.
Reducing cohort classroom size to 15 students has yet to be mandated.
March break will be postponed until the week of April 12 to limit community transmission of COVID-19.
Lecce noted that with the COVID-19 variants, the goal is to ensure that the spread of the virus does not occur by reducing travel, which often takes place during the break.
Last week, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) said that it had begun planning for a full return to in-class learning this September.
Ryan Bird, a spokesperson from the TDSB, told Daily Hive on March 5 that the Ministry of Education has asked school boards to plan for no COVID-related funding, meaning they must plan for in-person learning.
Since schools reopened in September 2020, there have been a total of 10,052 reported COVID-19 cases out of over two million public school students.