Peel Region schools move classes online

More than 20 Toronto schools being closed due to COVID-19 Report

More than 20 Toronto schools being closed due to COVID-19 Report

Public health says that late last week and through the weekend, the region saw significant increases in case counts and the spread of variants in the community.

"Due to our strong infection prevention measures, 99 per cent of students and staff have no active cases of COVID-19, however we must remain vigilant and keep our guard up in order to keep schools safe and open".

As of April 1, 63 Ontario schools were closed due to COVID-19, with 1,240 schools now reporting at least one case.

The top doctor in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph public health unit has ordered all schools to stop in-person learning starting tomorrow, with classes to return no sooner than April 19.

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Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa has shifted the course one day after TPH said they were not considering sheltering schools and moving to online learning. "I know this will be challenging for parents to navigate and we appreciate all the sacrifices parents continue to make as we continue to fight COVID-19 in our community".

"This closure is a necessary step to protect staff and students in Peel Region", Dr. Lawrence Loh said in a statement, exercising his discretionary powers to enact such closures under Section 22 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act.

An extension of the order may be considered based on COVID-19 epidemiological data for Toronto, the city said.

"We remain grateful to staff, students and families who have taken extraordinary efforts to change their routines and carry out collective actions to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our school communities safe", said Colleen Russell-Rawlins, director of education at the Peel District School Board, one of the country's largest with more than 154,000 kindergarten to Grade 12 students at 246 schools.

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TPH has shut down up to 22 schools as of Tuesday due to rising case counts with the Toronto Catholic District School Board announcing it would close nine schools, effective Tuesday, due to COVID-19 investigations.

He says that any further decisions to extend the order will be made, as required.

Last week, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced in-class instruction and April Break would go on as planned. Schools in Peel already have strong measures in place to prevent transmission in their settings.

York Region also said it was "monitoring" the situation, but has no plans to close schools, saying it is following the provincial framework.

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