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Toronto Public Health shuts down Etobicoke high school in 1st COVID-19 closure of the year

Toronto Public Health shuts down Etobicoke high school in 1st COVID-19 closure of the year-Milenio Stadium-Ontario
Toronto Public Health and Toronto District School Board have dismissed all students at Silverthorne Collegiate Institute and moved them to remote learning after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the school on Monday. (Yanjun Li/CBC)

A high school in Toronto has been closed temporarily following a COVID-19 outbreak, Toronto Public Health said Monday.

Silverthorn Collegiate Institute will be closed effective Tuesday, Oct. 12, and all students will be moved to remote learning. The school is on 291 Mill Road in Etobicoke.

A total of 11 cases have been linked to the outbreak, according to Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board. Four of the infections are considered resolved, with seven still active.

Bird said that the closure could last up to 10 days.

“We’re hoping students can return to in-person learning soon, but we really have to allow time for Toronto Public Health to investigate to make sure they have all the information they need,” he told CBC Toronto.

The outbreak was declared and the decision to close the school was made following an investigation over the weekend that revealed potential exposures to students across multiple grades.

At a news conference Tuesday morning, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said the province is adding additional PCR testing and vaccine clinics in the area, as it has a lower rate of vaccination compared to the average across the city.

“We are working in partnership with public health units across Ontario to keep schools open,” he said.

As of Oct. 8, there were 21 active school outbreaks and 30 active investigations in 122 school settings in Ontario.

TPH declares an outbreak if there are two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases linked within school settings in 14 days.

Information about active school outbreaks are posted on public health’s dashboard.

CBC

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