rain.png
Wednesday May 12th, 2021 10:22AM

Toronto schools shutdown amid third wave of infections

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TORONTO (AP) — Schools in Canada’s largest city will shut down Wednesday and move to online learning because of a third surge of coronavirus infections fueled by more-contagious virus variants.

Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said in a statement stronger measures are needed to reverse the surge.

“The spread of COVID-19 has never been greater in Toronto, with variants of concern increasing both the risk of transmission and the risk of serious illness or death,” de Villa said in a statement.

Ontario has seen seeing more than 3,000 new infections a day in recent days and record intensive care numbers.

The move follows a similar move by the neighboring Peel Region. The closures will be reevaluated later this month. Toronto has one of the largest school districts in North America.

Local health officials made the decision after the province declined to act. Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who said earlier that schools are safe, has been criticized by health officials for not doing more to get infections under control.

Ford had refused to shut down shopping malls, but then admonished people for using them.

“Around the world, countries are facing a very serious third wave of this pandemic. And right now, so is Canada. This isn’t the news any of us wanted, but hospitalizations are surging. ICU beds are filling up," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.

He said he planned to talk with Ford "about what the spike in cases means for hospitals, and the importance of vaccinating as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”

Vaccinations have ramped up in Canada in recent weeks and all adults who want a vaccine are expected to get at least one dose by July.

York region, just north of Toronto, is also a hot spot of new infections, but has decided to keep schools open.

“At the direction of Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health, York Region Public Health continues to follow the provincial Reopening Framework prioritizing schools remain open throughout all levels, even during the province-wide “emergency brake shutdown,” a York region spokeswoman said in an email.

Laura Barr, a 40-year-old teacher in Toronto, said she’s relieved her district has ended in class learning. Teachers at her school were teaching students in-person and online simultaneously.

“I was no longer feeling safe,” she said. “It was very stressful trying to maintain distancing and other safety protocols in person while also interacting with students learning from home. I’m very relieved that schools have shut down; now I can focus on teaching without worrying that my health is being put in jeopardy.”

She added she wished Ford had taken proper actions sooner to avoid a third wave. “It will be so hard for many families to make the necessary arrangements to adapt to remote learning with no notice,” she said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tanzania's new president changes policy on COVID-19, media
Tanzania’s new president appears to be taking a new, scientific approach to combat the COVID-19 pandemic
8:27PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Red Sox unveil blue-and-yellow uniforms before Patriots' Day
The Boston Red Sox will have a new look on Patriots’ Day weekend
8:21PM ( 9 minutes ago )
AP Interview: India could resume vaccine exports by June
The world’s largest vaccine maker, based in India, will be able to restart exports of AstraZeneca doses by June if new coronavirus infections subside in the country, its chief executive says
8:20PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Refugee families urge Biden to keep promise to up admissions
The families of refugees and their supporters, including 124 elected officials, have sent President Joe Biden a letter urging him to make good on his promise to boost refugee admissions to the United States
4:54PM ( 3 hours ago )
Mexico's vaccine campaign faces problems, successes
Mexico’s president is lashing out at criticism of the country’s coronavirus vaccination effort, dismissing a pair of scandals as the work of conservative opponents or grumpy “elderly people who go grumbling because they don’t like to be vaccinated.”
4:27PM ( 4 hours ago )
Greenland election shows divide over rare-earth metals mine
Greenland is holding an early parliamentary election focused in part on whether the semi-autonomous Danish territory should allow international companies to mine the sparsely populated Arctic island’s substantial deposits of rare-earth metals
3:34PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP World News
Tanzania's new president changes policy on COVID-19, media
Tanzania’s new president appears to be taking a new, scientific approach to combat the COVID-19 pandemic
8:27PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Red Sox unveil blue-and-yellow uniforms before Patriots' Day
The Boston Red Sox will have a new look on Patriots’ Day weekend
8:21PM ( 9 minutes ago )
AP Interview: India could resume vaccine exports by June
The world’s largest vaccine maker, based in India, will be able to restart exports of AstraZeneca doses by June if new coronavirus infections subside in the country, its chief executive says
8:20PM ( 9 minutes ago )
McConnell warns biz off political speech, says it's 'stupid'
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says “it’s quite stupid” for corporations to speak out against the Georgia voting law
8:13PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Auction of Japanese internment art pulled after protest
The auction of a series of sketches purportedly drawn by an artist at the Japanese internment camp at Manzanar has been canceled after groups protested it was offensive and immoral to profit off the misery of incarcerated people
7:40PM ( 49 minutes ago )