Toronto Star

TPH probing 23 schools for COVID-19 cases

Public health unit says institutio­ns being looked over for possible ‘activity’

- AKRIT MICHAEL AND JOSHUA CHONG STAFF REPORTERS With files from Ashima Agnihotri, Dorcas Marfo and

Toronto Public Health is investigat­ing 23 schools for potential “COVID-19 activity” as of Monday morning.

The public health unit listed the schools in a statement released Monday, adding that they were completing case and contact management to keep staff and students as safe as possible. Out of the 23 schools identified, 16 belonged to the Toronto District School Board, four to the Toronto Catholic District School Board, one to the French Catholic Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir and two were private schools.

“It is not unexpected that we’ve started to see COVID-19 cases in our school settings as we continue living with this virus,” Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa said in the statement.

This comes just a day after the public health unit identified three Toronto schools with multiple COVID-19 cases.

“This isn’t unexpected given COVID-19 continues to circulate in our city and how transmissi­ble the Delta variant is,” TPH tweeted Sunday.

Toronto Public Health officials did not reply to a request for comment by press time.

Cases are on the rise at schools across the country — Quebec’s Health Department reported 657 schools with active cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the most recent day for which data is available, an increase of 66 from Thursday. Despite a rapid rise in the number of COVID cases in schools, some experts say it’s important to keep them open for in-person learning.

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