Toronto middle school closed after 10 COVID-19 cases detected

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TORONTO —
A Toronto middle school has been closed for in-person learning as of Friday after 10 cases of COVID-19 were linked to the building.

Toronto Public Health announced late on Thursday afternoon that Greenholme Junior Middle School near Kipling Avenue and Albion Road would be switched to remote-learning only as of tomorrow following the discovery of the new cases.

It is the second Toronto school to be closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak so far this week.

“Toronto Public Health has identified 10 COVID-19 cases in this setting and will continue to work with our school community and have notified close contacts and ask them to stay home, monitor for symptoms and get tested,” Toronto Public Health said in a series of messages posted to Twitter. “Dismissing the school is a precautionary measure to prevent further COVID-19 spread within the school and we continue to work with our school partners to determine when in-person learning will resume.”

The closure of Greenholme Junior Middle School comes on the heels of Etobicoke’s Silverthorn Collegiate Institute being switched to remote-learning only on Monday evening.

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa has said that nine of the 11 cases at that school appear to be the result of “student-to-student transmission.”

It remains unclear what is behind the cluster of cases at Greenholme Junior Middle School, however.

Ontario reports 126 more school-related cases

Earlier in the day Ontario reported another 126 new school-related cases of COVID-19 as the number of infections tied to classrooms continued to decline.

The Ministry of Education says 117 of the cases were in students, five were in education workers and the association of four other cases was not known.

There are 696 schools out of 4,844 with at least one active case and five schools are closed, down from nine six days ago.

The number of active cases tied to schools now stands at 1,320, approximately one third of Ontario’s total known active caseload.

This is down from a peak of 1,637 reported on Oct. 1.

Active cases in the province have declined about 20 per cent in the last two weeks and school cases have fallen about 19 per cent during the same period.

There have been 3,533 cases of COVID-19 documented in students and education workers since the start of this school year.

At this point last year, only 1,057 cases of COVID-19 were detected in staff and students.

Across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), public school boards reported 625 active cases of COVID-19 in students and staff, an increase of 17 from one day earlier but still down by seven per cent from one week ago.

At least 180 class cohorts were isolating at home across the GTHA on Thursday.

In Toronto, public health officials said there were 17 confirmed active outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools and 121 investigations tied to schools underway.

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