Ontario schools report 175 new COVID-19 cases over last three days

Feb 23 2021, 8:58 am

Ontario schools have reported 175 new COVID-19 cases over the last three days, with 352 schools now reporting a case of the virus.

According to provincial data, from Friday at 2 pm to Monday at 2 pm, 175 cases were reported, of which 149 are students.

Eleven schools have officially closed.

So far in the province, Toronto is reporting some of the most COVID-19 cases in schools with 64, while Ottawa has 53 schools, Mississauga has 27 schools, and Hamilton has 25 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.

On Monday, the province reported that 32 positive COVID-19 cases were identified following targeted asymptomatic testing in five regions where over 3,000 students were tested. This sample indicated a positivity rate of 0.85%.

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 8,169 reported COVID-19 cases out of over two million public school students.

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