Ontario schools have reported 409 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend.
According to provincial data, 409 school-related cases were reported on Tuesday morning, from data recorded on March 19 to March 22. It brings the total seen over the last two weeks to 1,906.
Currently, 997 schools across the province have a case of COVID-19, and 48 have closed. Now over 20% of schools are reporting a case.
A total of 227 schools in Toronto have a virus case – the most of any region in the province. Ottawa has the second-highest count with 86 schools, followed by Brampton with 77.
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.
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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 still not been mandated.
March break is 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 March 5, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) said that it had begun planning for a full return to in-class learning this September.
Since schools reopened in September 2020, there have been a total of 11,443 reported COVID-19 cases out of over two million public school students.
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