More than 20 Toronto schools are being closed due to COVD-19 investigations as the city's public health unit defends their decision to keep facilities open to in-person learning.

Toronto Public Health and various school boards confirmed the closures Monday night

“Today, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has recommended the temporary dismissal of all school cohorts for the following schools as a result of ongoing COVID-19 investigations,” Toronto Public Health said in a statement to CP24.

“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,” the statement read.

The health unit released a list of 20 schools Monday evening, but a short time later the Toronto Catholic District school Board added two more schools to the list, bringing the number to 22.

The following schools will be closed as of Tuesday:

  • St. Gregory Catholic School
  • James Culnan Catholic School
  • Blessed Trinity Catholic School
  • St. Brigid Catholic School
  • St. Patrick Catholic School
  • Neil McNeil Catholic School
  • All Saints Catholic School
  • D.A. Morrison Middle School
  • Ellesmere Statton Public School
  • Lillian Public School
  • Donwood Park Public School
  • Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute
  • East York Collegiate Institute
  • Charles E. Webster Public School
  • Etienne Brule Junior School
  • Grenoble Public School
  • Riverdale Collegiate Institute
  • Valley Park Middle School
  • École élémentaire catholique George-Étienne-Cartier
  • Abu Bakr Education Academy 
  • Stella Maris
  • St. Anthony

Students will continue classes through remote learning.

No further details have been provided about the COVID-19 investigations.

The news comes hours after Peel Region’s public health unit announced it would be closing all schools on Tuesday in an effort to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. The move to online learning will last until at least April 18.

The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said Monday night that it would also order all schools to switch to remote learning under a Section 22 order.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has consistently said that schools and child-care facilities should remain open during the provincewide shutdown.

Toronto Public Health (TPH), meanwhile, has said that the city will "closely monitor and assess COVID-19 cases" in schools and will make closure decisions on a case-by-case basis.

"As of April 5, TPH is not recommending the shift to remote learning for schools in Toronto. TPH will continue to manage risk on a school-by-school basis, taking immediate and appropriate action to address these complex outbreaks," the statement read.

The public health unit also said that the decision would be revisited on a daily basis.

A full list of schools in Ontario with cases of the novel coronavirus can be found here.