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School & child care centre Coronavirus case website

Public Education | Element5 on UnSplash
Public Education | Element5 on UnSplash

On Friday, September 9, 2020, the province announced the creation of a school and child care centre specific coronavirus case website. As of this morning there are already 13 schools with 13 cases, plus 7 new cases in child care settings. This comes just days after Oakville announced that two teachers in two separate schools had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Halton District School Board and the Halton Catholic District School Board have already established  COVID-19 case websites. St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic Elementary has noted the outbreak, and Oodenawi Public School has not due to the school not being open. The information provided by the HDSB and HCDSB websites includes the number of class rooms that are closed in each school, and if the school has been closed.

Click to access website | HCDSB
Click to access website | HCDSB

"We know that this September comes with a new set of challenges, as many children return to school. We have pulled out all the stops for Ontario's students. It is why we have ensured that schools can reopen safely, with a $1.3 billion plan that is endorsed by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams," stated the province's press release. 

However, Dr. Williams has been the focus of many teachers' frustrations because of an unwillingness to reduce class sizes. It is reported that in Halton approximately to 30 percent of parents decided to have their children learn from home, but class sizes have not been reduced.  

Premier Doug Ford promised parents that he would ensure that they have access to the same information that the province has regarding Coronavirus cases at schools and child care . The program has taken several weeks to prepare, and the COVID-19 school data is now available to the public.  

The provincial websites is already operational. It will be updated every weekday with the most current information including a summary of cases in schools and licensed child care centres. It is expected that school boards will continue to keep parents/guardians up-to-date via their traditional communications tools. 

The provinces statement continues, "as Ontario students return to school, we are developing new and innovative ways to combat COVID-19 in the classroom, including this webpage, which is just one way the Ontario government is leveraging technology to protect the health and safety of the next generation. By making it easier for students, parents, and teachers to access important information about COVID-19 in their communities, we continue to deliver on our commitment of building simpler, faster, better services for the people of Ontario."