The COVID-19 situation in city schools continues to escalate, with Toronto Public Health now conducting contact tracing investigations at nearly two dozen schools.
TPH says it’s conducting case and contact tracing for COVID-19 at 23 different school buildings.
The schools on that list include East York and West Hill collegiate institutes, Alvin Curling Public School and Milne Valley Middle School.
The number of schools across Ontario affected could be higher.
“Our government has and will continue to follow the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to ensure the safety of our schools, students and staff. Our cautious reopening plan follows the expert advice of pediatric hospitals including Sick Kids, designed to minimize disruption and maximize safety,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce.
“As recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, layers of prevention in place will keep schools as safe as possible, with distancing, testing, strict screening protocols and improved ventilation in 100 per cent of schools, including HEPA filters in all JK/SK classes and in all learning spaces without mechanical ventilation. All schools have improved air ventilation, with major HVAC upgrades and HEPA units supporting safer schools.”
Data shows 273 confirmed cases in the province, just days into the school year.
This comes as calls grow louder for the Ford government to take immediate action on class sizes to prevent the spread of the virus.
The provincial NDP says class sizes need to be cut immediately amid what Andrea Horvath calls “alarming reports of classroom crowding.”
The Ministry of Education says school boards have the funding and flexibility to choose to re-allocate staffing to meet current class size requirements.
“We are taking further action by requiring all staff to be fully vaccinated or subject to testing on a regular and weekly basis, to protect schools and keep them open.”
NEWS RELEASE: Toronto Public Health continues to support a return to in-person learning in schools with enhanced public health measures: https://t.co/oL6WFQ2ymK
— Toronto Public Health (@TOPublicHealth) September 13, 2021
Here’s a list of the schools with COVID-19 contact tracing underway:
- Bellmere Junior Public School
- Central Montessori School – Maplehurst Campus
- Cresthaven Public School
- Dundas Junior Public School
- East York Collegiate Institute
- École élémentaire catholique Saint-Michel
- Elia Middle School
- Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy
- Humber Valley Village Junior Middle School
- Milne Valley Middle School
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School
- Pauline Johnson Junior Public School
- Riverdale Collegiate Institute
- Ryerson Community School
- Senator O’Connor College School
- Sir John A Macdonald Collegiate Institute
- St. André Catholic School
- St. Brigid Catholic School
- The York School
- Topcliff Public School
- West Hill Collegiate Institute
- William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute
- Willowdale Middle School
The City’s top doctor, Dr. Eileen de Villa, said in a statement, “It is not unexpected that we’ve started to see COVID-19 cases in our school settings as we continue living with this virus. Vaccination continues to be our best defense against this virus. It provides protection for those receiving the vaccine and for others around them. This is why we continue to remind everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as they are able if they have not yet done so.”