Toronto Catholic District School staff member dies after contracting COVID-19

Nov 18 2020, 1:15 pm

A Toronto Catholic District School Board staff member has died after contracting COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the board confirmed the staff member worked at St. Francis de Sales passed. The TCDSB Director shared his “heartfelt condolences” to those impacted by the staff member’s passing.

“As a Catholic community, we pray for the grieving family, staff member and our school community,” he said in a statement.

“We’ve recently learned of a tragic death of a staff member of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). This unfortunate news is a huge loss to our entire TCDSB community,” said Shazia Vlahos, Chief of Communications, in a written statement.

“Supports are available to the impacted school community. At this time, we are focused on supporting staff and students and respecting the privacy of the grieving family and staff member.”

There are currently social supports including social worker and psychologist as well as chaplaincy for staff and students.

CUPE Ontario also released a statement on social media saying, “CUPE Ontario’s 280,000 members mourn the loss of our sister, a CUPE education worker at TCDSB, who passed away after contracting COVID-19. Our solidarity and condolences to her family, friends, and all her union colleagues.” 

And Ontario NDP Leader Andrew Horwath took to social media to say the news was “horrible” and “heartbreaking.”

“We should be doing everything possible in Ontario to prevent harm to teachers, education workers and children.”

The NDP Child Care critic Doly Begum and Education critic Marit Stiles released a joint statement adding the Ontario government “has not done nearly enough to keep staff and students in our schools safe. It has refused to spend the money to make classes and school buses smaller and safer.”

“One death in our schools is too many, and we urge the Ford government to take action and cap class sizes and hire additional teachers, to curb the spread of COVID-19 and ensure our school communities stay safe.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that schools do not need a prolonged winter break due to the rising numbers of COVID-19.

“As we continue to see increased rates of community transmission, our schools have been remarkably successful at minimizing outbreaks to ensure that our kids stay safe and learning in their classrooms,” his statement said.

In the province, there are three school closures out of the 670 schools that are reporting.

Since September, there have been over 3,600 cases in Ontario schools.

Daily Hive has reached out to CUPE Ontario for comment and will update the story accordingly. 

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