Peel Public Health issues Section 22 Order to close all Peel schools

Schools in Peel Region ordered closed for two weeks due to surging COVID-19 cases

How many coronavirus cases are there in Canada? "Since COVID-19, including variants of concern, are circulating in the community, cases related to community transmission are expected". The union is demanding that teachers be moved higher up the list for vaccination, the province purchase N95 masks for schools, and class sizes be reduced to facilitate physical distancing.

"This closure is a necessary step to protect staff and students in Peel Region", Peel's medical officer of health Dr. Lawrence Loh said in a statement.

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

Toronto Public Health (TPH) issued a Section 22 order and made the announcement on Tuesday; one day after Peel Public Health became the first local health unit to recommend schools be closed for in-person learning due to COVID-19 concerns.

As for the Peel school closure, students will stay home for at least two weeks.

Parents were left scrambling by the late decision, which also prohibits Peel students from attending child-care centres or day camps.

According to TPH, the other two schools to close are George Etienne Cartier Catholic Elementary School, run by the Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir, and Abu Bakr Education Academy, an Islamic elementary school run independently. But he thanked them for their efforts in fighting COVID-19.

He says the schools will move to online learning only and will remain closed until April 18. For Toronto and neighbouring Peel, it mostly meant the closure of outdoor dining patios.

The TDSB and TCDSB said in tweets on Monday they are dismissing the schools following advice from TPH.

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

Further decisions to extend Section 22 will be made, as required, and TPH says the return date for in-person learning will be re-evaluated and is subject to change.