Ontario schools report 116 new COVID-19 cases over last 24 hours

Mar 1 2021, 5:41 pm

Ontario schools have reported more than 100 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

According to provincial data, 116 school-related cases were reported on Monday morning, bringing the total seen over the last two weeks to 844.

Currently, 530 schools across the province have a case of COVID-19, and 20 have closed.

A total of 139 schools in Toronto have a virus case – the most of any region in the province. Ottawa has the second-highest count with 57 schools, followed by Hamilton with 36 schools.

Schools update as of March 1/Government of Ontario

Classrooms in Toronto, Peel, and York Regions reopened for in-person learning on February 16. Other regions across Ontario saw students return on February 8.

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.

Last week, eight Toronto schools reported that they had detected a variant of concern.

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 8,563 reported COVID-19 cases out of over two million public school students.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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