Peel schools will not be reopening on Tuesday

Board chairwoman Ellen Chambers says Thunder Bay schools have had to dismiss classes repeatedly because of one COVID-19 case. Kelly Sikkema

Board chairwoman Ellen Chambers says Thunder Bay schools have had to dismiss classes repeatedly because of one COVID-19 case. Kelly Sikkema

More than a quarter of the 4,828 schools in the province have an active case. Peel Public Health said it saw a jump in cases and the community spread of variants late last week and through the weekend.

In an emailed statement to CTV Kitchener, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said "given our overall COVID-19 situation in the region at this time", she doesn't plan to issue a Section 22 order to shutdown schools.

The chief medical officer for Peel Region, which also includes the town of Caledon, ordered its schools closed until April 18 on Monday, with camps due to run during next week's delayed break also cancelled.

The closure also affects Dufferin-Peel District Catholic School Board, Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir, all private schools and all special education staff and students.

The TDSB and TCDSB said in tweets on Monday they are dismissing the schools following advice from TPH.

As of Wednesday, all students will pivot to remote learning for the rest of the week, according to the Toronto District School Board.

"Each COVID-19 case in a school requires a careful investigation to determine the potential risk to other individuals in that setting, and based on the findings of the investigation, decisions are then made on how best to protect the staff and students in the school, including dismissing some cohorts or all cohorts", Dubey said. This closure will allow students and staff at least two weeks out of schools to break any chains of transmission and protect them from exposure.

Further decisions to extend Section 22 will be made, as required, and TPH says the return date for in-person learning will be re-evaluated and is subject to change.

Toronto Public Health said it appreciates that this decision places additional burden on many families but "health and safety of students and staff remains a priority". They won't be back in class until April 18.

Dubey added: "COVID-19 spreads through close contact with someone who is infected with the virus, and not from specific locations".

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