Schools in Peel Region move classes online for two weeks starting today

Henrietta Strickland
Апреля 6, 2021

Schools in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon will not be reopening tomorrow (April 6).

Students in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga will move to online learning from April 6 through to April 18 after Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh used his discretionary powers under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to close schools.

The chief medical officer for Peel Region, which also includes the town of Caledon, ordered its schools closed until April 18 on Monday, with camps due to run during next week's delayed break also cancelled.

Loh says the closure will allow students and staff at least two weeks out of schools to break any chains of transmission and protect them from exposure.

Late last week and through the weekend, Peel saw significant increases in case counts and the spread of variants in the community. Decisions on whether to extend the order "will be made, as required", Peel Public Health said in a statement.

A union representing Ontario elementary teachers agrees that in-class learning is best for children, but said the government is not doing enough to make schools safe.

As of April 1, 63 Ontario schools were closed due to COVID-19, with 1,240 schools now reporting at least one case.

"TPH will continue to manage risk on a school-by-school basis, taking immediate and appropriate action to address these complex outbreaks", a spokesperson for TPH said in a statement.

Schools should be the last to close and the first to open in a pandemic situation, Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, co-chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, told reporters last week.

In Peel Region, licensed child care programs will stay open for children younger than six years old who are not in school programs, per the release.

Meanwhile, Toronto Public Health (TPH) said Monday that while it continues to monitor COVID-19 cases in schools, it is not recommending the shift to remote learning at this time. Schools in Peel already have strong measures in place to prevent transmission in their settings.

The closure also affects Dufferin-Peel District Catholic School Board, Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir, all private schools and all special education staff and students. In a statement, health officials say the spring break will go ahead as planned from April 12 to 16.

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