Ontario will publicly report school outbreaks: Ford
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, right, stands in front of a selection of his cabinet ministers during a joint press conference with Quebec Premier Francois Legault at the Ontario-Quebec Summit, in Toronto on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, September 9, 2020 3:22PM EDT
TORONTO -- Premier Doug Ford says his government will publicly report all cases of COVID-19 in the province's schools.
Ford says he believes parents should know where school outbreaks are occuring but it will take time to report.
Under current provincial guidelines, schools are required to report COVID-19 cases to parents online or with a letter home.
Ford says the province will report school figures much as it shares case numbers in the province's long-term care homes.
He did not say when the province will begin reporting the data, noting schools have just started reopening this week.
Opposition New Democrats have called on the government to share details of school outbreaks across the province rather than leaving disclosures to individual schools or boards.
The virus has already surfaced at one elementary school in Oakville, Ont., according to the school's principal.
Gail McDonald said in a letter to parents that a staff member at Oodenawi Public School tested positive for COVID-19 just days before students returned to class.
The school was informed of the positive test on Monday, she added.
McDonald said the individual was present during staff PA Days at the school last week and that no students were exposed to the virus.
Staff who had close contact with the individual have been ordered by public health to self-isolate for 14 days.
The principal said the school underwent enhanced cleaning ahead of its reopening on Tuesday.
Under provincial guidelines, all schools are required to disclose COVID-19 cases to parents while protecting personal privacy.
Meanwhile, Ontario reported 149 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, but no new deaths related to the virus.
There were also 136 cases newly marked as resolved over the past 24 hours.
The total number of cases in Ontario now stands at 43,685, which includes 2,813 deaths and 39,332 cases marked as resolved.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said 28 of the province's 34 public health units are reporting five or fewer new cases.
She said Toronto is reporting 50 new cases, Peel is reporting 41, and Ottawa has 16 new cases.
This article by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2020.