Peel medical officer of health is closing schools for two weeks

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

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

Peel Region's decision follows speculation about a possible return to remote learning throughout the province, with some school boards urging students and teachers to take learning materials home before the Easter long weekend just in case.

This closure is a necessary step to protect staff and students in Peel Region.

Toronto Public Health says in-person learning is set to resume in Toronto on April 19, after next week's spring break.

Peel Region remains one of the virus hotspots in Ontario, with 533 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Monday - second only to Toronto.

All schools in the Peel Region will close for two weeks to curb COVID-19 spread.

The decision has been made unilaterally by Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel's medical officer of health, who will be exercising his discretionary powers to enact such closures under Sec.

Schools should be the last to close and the first to open in a pandemic situation, Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, co-chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, told reporters last week.

A spokesperson for Toronto Public Health said the public health unit is not looking at issuing its own Section 22 order at this time. With increasing case counts and the presence of variants of concern, we need to break chains of transmission and keep our schools safe. "TPH will continue to recommend early dismissal for individual schools upon investigation to protect students, staff, teachers and school communities".

"Stronger public health measures are required to reverse the surge of infection that the province now faces".

The closure will affect all Dufferin Peel District Catholic School Board, Peel District School Board, Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir and all private schools.

"It looks like our efforts may have worked", Ryan Harper, vice-president for District 19 TBU at the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, wrote in a tweet after the news emerged. In a statement, health officials say the spring break will go ahead as planned from April 12 to 16.

The minister's office has defended its stance on keeping students in class, saying Monday "schools remain safe with strong public health measures in place that have kept almost 99% of schools in Ontario open".

Bird acknowledged that there are some outbreaks at Toronto schools, including 22 that were closed on Monday, and that closing all schools is the best move right now.

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