School boards report another 269 COVID-19 cases, no new infections at shuttered Etobicoke school
COVID-19 safety information is posted on the wall of a school in Toronto, Ont., on Wednesday, Aug., 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Published Wednesday, October 13, 2021 10:46AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 13, 2021 10:48AM EDT
Ontario’s publicly funded school boards are reporting another 269 new school-related cases of COVID-19 over a four-day period that included the holiday weekend.
The Ministry of Education says that there were another 249 student cases, 19 staff member cases and one unspecified case identified in public schools between Friday at 2 p.m. and Tuesday at 2 p.m.
As a result the number of active cases associated with Ontario schools has risen for the first time in more than a week and now stands at 1,357.
However, it should be noted that the 269 new cases reported between Friday and Tuesday afternoon are still down from the 423 cases that were reported over the same time-period last week.
The latest data comes with Etobicoke’s Silverthorn Collegiate Institute closed to in-person learning for a second straight day Tuesday amid an outbreak involving 11 student cases, seven of which remain active.
During a briefing on Monday Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that at least nine of those cases appear to have resulted from “student-to-student transmission,” something that ministry officials have previously insisted has been relatively rare since classes resumed.
“I don't have all the specifics around all the different events but I do know that there were a number of different multi-grade activities and events both inside and outside of school that were found in the course of investigation that certainly represented opportunities for transmission,” de Villa said.
With the latest cases reported on Wednesday, there has now been 3,359 lab-confirmed infections linked to Ontario schools since classes resumed last month, including 2,963 involving students.
In the 2020-2021 school year, it took until November 16 to reach that number.
The good news is that the number of cases being reported by school boards has been slowly declining for a few weeks now.
Toronto Public Health says that there are currently three confirmed outbreaks in childcare centres and 18 confirmed outbreaks in schools, though Silverthorn Collegiate is the only Greater Toronto Area school that has been switched to remote-learning so far.
There are also at least 149 individual cohorts self isolating in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area due to positive cases in the classroom.