Ontario schools report over 400 COVID-19 cases in two weeks

Feb 22 2021, 8:12 am

Ontario schools have reported over 400 COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, with 278 schools now reporting a case of the virus.

According to provincial data, over a 24 hour period from February 18 to February 19, 55 new cases were reported on Monday, of which 47 are students—there is no reporting done by the province over the weekend.

Ten schools have officially closed.

So far in the province, Ottawa is reporting some of the most COVID-19 cases in schools with 48, while Toronto has 28 schools, Hamilton has 20 schools, and Mississauga has 13 schools.

On February 16, schools reopened for in-person learning in Toronto, Peel, and York regions— the final regions in the province to reopen.

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 still not been 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 spread of the virus does not take place by reducing travel, which often takes place during the break.

There are currently 31 regions in Ontario that have entered the province’s reopening framework, with Toronto, Peel, and North Bay Parry Sound still under Stay at Home orders until March 8.

Since schools reopened in September 2020, there have been a total of 7,998 reported COVID-19 cases out of over two million public school students.

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