14 schools with confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brampton and Mississauga
A week into the new school year and 14 schools across Brampton and Mississauga have confirmed cases of COVID-19.
As of September 16, 10 schools within the Peel District School board, and four in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board have had students or teachers test positive for the novel coronavirus.
The schools with confirmed cases are split evenly between Brampton and Mississauga, with the vast majority of them being located in high or medium risk neighbourhoods. The risk categories are based on determinations by The Pointer using data from Peel Public Health, with high risk areas having infection rates of COVID-19 well above the regional and provincial average.
Six of the seven schools with confirmed cases in Brampton are located in high risk areas where the rate of infection is 716 per 100,000 people or higher, a rate more than double the average for all of Ontario. These schools are: Louise Arbour Secondary School, Mountain Ash Public School, Robert J. Lee Public School, Ross Drive Public School, Saint Kevin Separate School, and St. Alphonsa Catholic Elementary School. The remaining school with a confirmed case, Brampton Centennial Secondary School, is located in a medium risk area where the rate of infection is between 317 and 715 per 100,000 people.
In Mississauga, four schools with confirmed cases are located in these medium risk areas, including David Leeder Middle School, Ruth Thompson Middle School, The Valleys Sr. Public School, and Saint Joseph Secondary School.
Briarwood Public School, John Fraser Secondary School, and Saint Barbara Elementary School are all located in Mississauga neighbourhoods considered low risk with infection rates below 315 per 100,000 people.
To date, the confirmed cases have not resulted in any school or classroom closures.
PDSB students attend class orientation last week.
The Region of Peel has also declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at the KidsZone Childcare Centre in Mississauga where two cases were confirmed August 31.
The increasing case numbers come as students who are attending in-person learning return to regular school days today following orientation last week. A full return for secondary school students also occurred Wednesday. Those learning online will complete “learning activities” this week with live online classes scheduled to begin next week.
The delay in online learning is a result of a massive influx of students switching to online classes at the last minute.
Last weekend, the PDSB released a notice to parents explaining that 10,000 students made the decision to switch from in-class learning to online instruction, forcing the board to scramble for a solution.
Apologizing to families for sending an email on the weekend, the region’s largest board, with some 156,000 students, explained to parents and students that due to the mass decision by so many families opting for virtual learning after originally choosing the in-class option, the board would need more time to accommodate all the extra online students.
On Monday, elementary students began their virtual learning experience essentially on their own. Because the board is now adjusting online staffing schedules and timetables, elementary students received materials on Monday but worked independently. They will not be engaged directly by teachers until Thursday or Friday.
High school students opting for online learning were sceduled to starting working on independent projects yesterday and then by September 22, “live” online classes will begin.
After initially choosing in-person learning, approximately 10,000 students at the PDSB switched to online classes at the last minute.
The pushing back of dates for the start of teacher-led instruction, and the new reported cases in PDSB schools, follows a decision earlier this month by the Toronto District School Board to delay the start of high school for most students, who will now begin on Thursday instead of Tuesday.
The mass switch from in-person to online learning is not surprising as COVID-19 numbers rise sharply across Ontario, particularly in Brampton.
The city has been a hot spot for the disease since the third week of August. On September 2 there were 49 cases reported in the city; on September 6 there were 58 cases, which represented 37 percent of all reported infections on each of those days, and over the past three weeks, the city has been responsible for about 20 percent of all cases across Ontario, despite having just 4.5 percent of the province’s population.
For more information about local schools and confirmed COVID-19 cases, see The Pointer's interactive map below.
View COVID-19 Map of Peel Schools in a full screen map
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