Toronto Public Health says in-person classes can resume at Etobicoke’s Silverthorn Collegiate Institute, ending a brief switch to online learning prompted by a COVID-19 outbreak last week.
It is the first of the two Toronto District School Board (TDSB) schools to close its doors in Etobicoke due to 11 positive Covid-19 cases reported among Silverthorn students. TDSB’s spokesperson Ryan Bird says the majority of the confirmed cases are resolved, and no additional cases have been reported since the school shut down last week. There have been no updates from Toronto Public Health on Greenholme Junior Middle School that switched to online learning last Friday after 10 positive Covid-19 cases were reported.
The city’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa said at a news conference last Tuesday the majority of the Silverthorn Collegiate cases are linked to student-to-student transmission. Toronto Public Health investigated over the weekend to explore potential exposures.
Bird says TDSB does not know the exact time or place of the transmission.
“When Toronto Public Health declares an outbreak, that would mean that there are at least two cases with a possible link to a school setting. So typically, when an outbreak is declared, it’s because they believe that school transmission is, at least, possible or happening,” he says.
Bird says public health has not advised on any additional safety measures for TDSB schools. He says safety protocols already in place at the board’s 583 schools include a mandatory health screening app, masking requirements, physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning.
The board is connected with SickKids Hospital, Women’s College Hospital, and Michael Guerin Hall to do PCR testing for times during an outbreak or if a student has symptoms, Bird says.