As Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa face significant closures of large gathering areas, Ontario schools will remain open despite growing COVID-19 cases.
In an announcement on Friday at Queen’s Park, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, was joined by Dr. Adalsteinn Brown and Dr. Dirk Huyer following a record-breaking increase of 939 COVID-19 cases on October 9.
After announcing the closure of indoor dining, gyms, and cinemas, Dr. Williams noted that Ontario schools will remain open, as there hasn’t been a lot of evidence of transmission within the school community.
“As far as schools are concerned, as Dr. Brown has alluded to, we haven’t seen the evidence of a lot of transmission within the schools,” said Dr. Williams during the press conference.
“We have had evidence of a lot of people coming from the community into the school, already infected.”
In addition to the recent restrictions, there will also be a reduction in social gatherings and organized public events to maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing may not be possible.
That, however, does not apply to schools.
“Schools have been closed and schools have been reopened, so that is happening dynamically, and as Dr. Brown said, these impacts on these communities, which have an impact on schools, is not homogeneous throughout the province,” said Dr. Williams.
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Since mid-September, Ontario has reported 876 COVID-19 cases among students and school staff. As of October 9, there have been 628 reported school-related cases in just two weeks.