With almost all schools in Ontario returning to at least partial in-person classes there is general concern about the much higher numbers of new COVID cases being reported in Ontario over the weekend, culminating in today’s count of 313 new cases. Premier Doug Ford ,flanked by Health Minister Elliott and Education Minister Lecce responded to the news today that Ontario experienced more than 300 new COVID cases yesterday. Ford repeated his call for Ontarians to avoid large gatherings, especially in closed spaces. He said “I will not hesitate to shut things down again if the situation warrants.”
Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region, account for the bulk of the province’s new cases. Social gatherings, travel and workplace outbreaks appear to be driving the spread in Peel, said the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, in an interview. The head of the University Health Network, Dr. Kevin Smith said he initially was not troubled by the raw numbers of new cases because the amount of testing has risen very quickly, but now he is getting concerned because more of the new cases are ending up in hospitals. Toronto Mayor John Tory also issued a stern warning about individuals ignoring public health advice. “You cannot legislate common sense,” said Tory referring to instances where people have been wilfully carless, resulting in new COVID cases. #We have to do better than this, it’s not that complicated.” Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health says Toronto alone has accounted for 264 cases of COVID 19 since Friday.
The province has required all boards of education to offer the option of remote schooling this fall and parents are choosing that route by the thousands. In the Toronto District School Board alone, some 60,000 students are opting for virtual classrooms, roughly one-quarter of the board’s enrolment. A surge in demand for online learning from an extra 10,000 students in the past week forced the Peel District School Board to delay the start of its remote classes.