Coronavirus variants found in 11 Toronto schools

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Public health officials say coronavirus variants of concern have been found in several city schools. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Public health officials say coronavirus variants of concern have been found in several city schools. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Toronto Public Health says coronavirus variants — which are believed to be more transmissible — have now been found in several of the city's schools.

In a news release issued Thursday, public health said at least one person linked to the following schools had screened positive for a coronavirus variant of concern:

  • Beverley School

  • Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute

  • Yeshiva Yesodei Hatorah

  • Gulfstream Public School

  • The Toronto Cheder

  • St. Helen Catholic School

  • Dante Alighieri Academy

  • Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School

Public health officials say people who tested positive and their respective cohorts have been dismissed from school with guidance based "on their level of risk." Officials have followed up with close contacts and are recommending testing.

The Toronto District school board said three more schools were found to have confirmed variants by TPH as of Thursday afternoon, bringing the total number to 11, a TDSB spokesperson confirmed in an email to CBC Toronto.

  • Earl Grey Senior Public School

  • Edgewood Public School

  • Pleasant View Middle School

According to the news release, schools have several measures in place aimed at keeping things as safe as possible, including coordinating testing, requiring staff and students to complete a daily screening and to stay home if they don't pass, requiring students to not interact with people in other cohorts, and requiring physical distancing "as much as possible."

"VOCs are believed to be more transmissible," public health said in its news release. "This increases the risk that the virus will spread between people.

"Faster and wider spread of the virus makes it more likely that more people will get sick, which can increase strain on the health care system."