Ontario Schools May Face Another Closure As COVID-19 Variants Increase
Late February all areas of Ontario moved out of a government enforced COVID-19 lockdown. With COVID-19 spread being greatly reduced, the Ontario government decided it was safe to reopen schools in all regions of the province. With COVID-19 infections numbers on the rise again, experts fear that another school closure may be inevitable, especially with the large numbers of highly contagious COVID-19 variants.
It is unknown if schools are a major spreader of COVID-19. Children in Ontario are required to wear a mask during school hours and are kept in class specific cohorts. Social distancing is enforced whenever possible.
Regardless of the measures school continue to take, experts believe that they will be forced to close with the increase of new variant spread. B.1.1.7 is the most concerning variant. Easily spread, the B.1.1.7 variant is also known as the UK variant (as it was originated in the United Kingdom). According to studies, hospitalizations are 64% more likely with this new variant. The variant can be found in all areas of Canada and is quickly becoming the dominant strain found when tested.
We urge everyone to continue to be vigilant against COVID-19. Continue to wear your mask whenever in a public setting. Wash and sanitize your hands as much as possible. Social distance when around people outside your family pod. Make sure to stay home if you are feeling unwell. And if you have been around someone with COVID-19, isolate for a full quarantine period.
All areas are still very much in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to not let COVID-19 fatigue get the best of us. If we all continue to safeguard ourselves, we will lower the spread of COVID-19 and after mass vaccinations we can resume our normal rountines.