COVID-19 outbreak pushes Toronto school to temporarily close

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TORONTO – A school in Scarborough will be temporarily closed for a week after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared by Toronto Public Health. The Toronto District School Board said on Twitter that an outbreak at Mason Road Junior Public School resulted in the school being closed from September 28 to October 2, while they were investigating.

Three staff members and one student have tested positive for COVID-19, TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said in an interview with CP24.

“I don’t have the exact symptoms or specific diagnoses of the people involved. All I know is that Toronto Public Health has asked that we shut it down, and obviously we’re taking the medical experts over there. That is why the decision was made. made to shut it down and we informed our school community, ”said Bird.

In a letter to parents, the principal and deputy principal of the school said that additional cleaning will be carried out in the school over the next week.

“I know that news of an epidemic and the closing of a school will, of course, be worrying for families. Please be aware that we are in constant contact with TPH and if they feel that further communications or action is required, we will notify you as soon as possible. , “Reads the letter.

The school located in the Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road area is the second school in the city where an epidemic has been declared. The other is at Glen Park Public School.

During the city’s COVID-19 briefing on Friday, Dr Eileen de Villa said two students at the North York school had contracted the disease.

In addition to the two cases, a teacher and 35 students from two cohorts were sent home to self-isolate for 14 days.

Mason Road Junior Public School has been asked to close, but Glen Park remains open.

De Villa said an outbreak is declared when there are at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a 14-day period and at least one case has been acquired at school.

“The goal of declaring an epidemic in any situation, whether it is a school or any other institution, is to enable a rapid response and to mobilize the resources necessary to bring the epidemic of infectious disease under control. Said de Villa.

The city’s medical officer of health also said she expects similar announcements in the future.

Bird also said Sunday’s announcement was unfortunate, but it was not unexpected. He said the board is taking all necessary precautions to ensure students and staff stay as safe as possible.

“With numbers increasing almost every day over the past few weeks, we know this will happen,” Bird said.

“But for us, what we do is make sure that we take all possible precautions, whether it’s wearing a mask, improved cleaning, screening before entering school, physical distance in wherever possible.

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