One-third of active COVID-19 cases in the province can be traced back to Ontario’s publicly-funded schools.
However, there were just five active cases reported by the Simcoe County District School Board as of Monday evening on Oct. 4, all at elementary schools in Barrie, one each at W.C. Little, Hewitt’s Creek, Portage View, Trillium Woods, and Willow Landing.
At the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School, the number of active COVID cases at St. Marie of the Incarnation in Bradford climbed to 10 with five classrooms closed as of late Monday afternoon. There were two active cases reported at the school on Friday. The board also reported on Monday that there were three cases at Monsignor Clair in Barrie, five at St. Ann’s in Penetanguishene, which is no change from Friday, and one case each at St. Theresa of Calcutta in Bradford and at St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School in Barrie.
As of Monday, Oct. 4, there were 1,637 active cases linked to the public school system or nearly 33 per cent of the province’s total active infections.
On Sept. 21, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said transmission of COVID-19 within schools continues to be “minimal.”
“We’re monitoring this situation very closely and as expected, most cases are contracted in the community and not in the school themselves,” Moore said. “When cases do occur in school, transmission to date has proven to be minimal with the majority of outbreaks contained at two to three cases. This is thanks to the school community following the public health measures as well as the rapid response from our school boards and public health units.”
Following Monday’s throne speech in the Ontario legislature, NDP leader Andrea Horwath tore a strip off the Ford government for its silence on education.
“We need a safe schools plan with smaller class sizes, hiring more teachers, education workers, and supports for our kids who have been through quite a lot over the last 18 months,” she said.