Ten more COVID-19 cases at Toronto-area schools as classes resume for more students

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TORONTO -- Ten more positive cases of COVID-19 were reported at GTA schools Monday as in-person classes resumed at several boards.

The Halton District School Board says that there have been positive cases reported at Brant Hills Public School in Burlington and Garth Webb Secondary School in Oakville.

The board did not say whether the two new cases are in students or staff at the impacted schools.

The province has also updated its database to reflect one new case involving a student at John Fraser Secondary School in Mississauga.

Also on Monday, the principal of Maple Ridge P.S. in Pickering told parents that two people from the same household who were last in the school on Sept. 9 tested positive for COVID-19.

"The individual is asymptomatic, wore a mask while in the building and physically distanced from others while at school," the principal told parents on Monday.

In addition, nearby Pine Ridge Secondary School confirmed two positive cases Monday evening.

In a letter to the school community, Principal Jackie Leacock said the individuals were last at the school on Sept. 10. She said it’s not yet clear where the two acquired the infection and that those identified as close contacts will be contacted by the Durham Region Health Department.

In York Region, public health data indicated Monday evening that three schools have seen cases. The cases include one student at Little Rouge Public School, one student at J Addison School and one staff member or visitor at Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School.

The confirmation of the positive cases comes on the same day that classes resumed at the Halton District School Board, as well as several other boards in the GTA.

The first day of school in the TDSB, however, has been pushed back a little later. Some elementary students will begin returning to the classroom on Tuesday as part of a staggered return. Secondary students won’t begin returning until Thursday.

The province has indicated that there have been a total of 15 positive cases in public schools so far, though its database does not yet include most of the cases reported by individual schools on Monday.

Six of the existing cases are in Ottawa, where classes resumed last week.

There have also been six additional cases combined in the Halton and Peel school boards, though those numbers will increase once the province updates its database.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said Monday that the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the province should be a “wakeup call” that as kids return to class “we have to re-energize our vigilance and dedication to being careful.”

Premier Doug Ford has previously expressed confidence in the resumption of in-person instruction at Ontario schools but has also indicated that he will “not hesitate for a second to close schools down” should there be significant outbreaks.