With schools across Ontario officially reopening for in-class learning today, many students and parents are worried about potential COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in schools in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon–especially since the Region of Peel remains a coronavirus hotspot.
Fortunately for local students and their families, the Peel District School Board (PDSB) has created a COVID-19 Advisory Board that tracks the number of active, confirmed positive COVID-19 cases at its Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon schools.
The site comes at a time when the region is experiencing a sustained uptick in new cases.
On Sept. 8, Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott announced that the province is reporting 185 cases of COVID-19, with 190 new cases reported yesterday (Sept. 7). Although there hasn’t been a significant or worrying increase in hospitalizations, Peel–and Brampton in particular–continues to report a higher number of infections, with 42 new cases reported in the region today.
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The board, which recently sent out a lengthy letter detailing how it will respond to any COVID-19 cases or outbreaks, says that families and staff at the school will also be notified of any positive cases in a school by letter.
On a website detailing all of its COVID-19 procedures, the board says it has a plan in place in the event that a staff member or student at a school tests positive for COVID-19.
“We have developed a plan, aligned with Ontario’s COVID-19 guidance: school outbreak management document, following Ministry guidelines and in consultation with public health, to help contain and reduce the spread,” the website reads.
“This is a plan we hope to never need, but will be ready in the event a positive case is identified, so Peel Public Health can respond quickly and effectively.”
The board says Peel Public Health will contact anyone who was in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus and advise him or her on next steps.
On the advisory board website, the board reminds residents that a positive case at a school does not mean a student or staff member was exposed to COVID-19 at the school, as community transmission is still occurring in the region.
The PDSB says the advisory board site will be updated daily at 4:00 pm.
To learn more about the board’s COVID-19 plan, click here.