Eighteen students and a staff member have tested positive for COVID-19 at an east-end Toronto elementary school.
A spokesman for the Toronto District School Board says the staff and students at Thorncliffe Park Public School were tested for the virus as part of a new pilot project.
Ryan Bird says 14 classes have been asked to self-isolate, but the school will remain open.
In a letter to parents sent Sunday night, the school principal says that’s because four per cent of the school tested positive, compared to a 16 per cent positivity rate in the broader Thorncliffe Park community.
He says he understands the cases are worrisome, but notes the school is actively monitoring the situation and communicating with Toronto Public Health.
The Ontario government announced Thursday that it was introducing voluntary testing for asymptomatic students, faculty and staff at schools in regions with high infection rates.
The expanded testing will be provided for four weeks in schools in Toronto, Peel and York regions, and Ottawa. Those who show symptoms or have been exposed to a COVID-19 case should continue to stay home and get tested at an assessment centre, the province said.