Toronto

TDSB closes Scarborough school due to COVID-19 outbreak that involves variants of concern

The Toronto District School Board has closed a Scarborough school due to a COVID-19 outbreak that involves variants of concern.

Donwood Park Public School, which runs from kindergarten to Grade 8, has 6 cases overall

TPH is recommending that the entire school and families connected to it be tested for COVID-19. (David Donnelly/CBC)

The Toronto District School Board has closed a Scarborough school due to a COVID-19 outbreak that involves variants of concern.

Donwood Park Public School, located at 61 Dorcot Ave., has six cases of COVID-19 overall, according to Toronto Public Health (TPH), which recommended the closure, or "temporary dismissal," starting on Tuesday.

In a letter to parents and guardians on Monday, the TDSB said the school will remain closed until further notice and all classes will be shifted to remote learning.

"While a whole school dismissal may last for 14 days, it can vary depending on the investigation by TPH, which will notify us when the school is able to reopen," principal Andrea Lane said in the letter.

A spokesperson for the TDSB initially said on Monday that five of the six cases involve students. Early Tuesday, however, Ryan Bird clarified that all six cases are students.

Four have screened positive for variants of concern and community exposure is suspected in four cases, according to TPH.

TPH is recommending that the entire school and families connected to it be tested for COVID-19. The school, which runs from kindergarten to Grade 8, is located north of Lawrence Avenue, between Midland and Brimley avenues.

"Dismissing the school is a precautionary measure to allow TPH to complete an investigation while protecting the school community and prevent further virus spread," TPH said in a news release on Monday.

TPH said it has already identified some students as close contacts in the affected classes and informed of their exposure.

Variants of concern are believed to be more transmissible and spreading in Toronto and Ontario, TPH said. 

"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," TPH said.

"TPH is releasing this information in an effort to ensure the public remains vigilant in efforts to help stop the spread and as part of the TPH's response to COVID-19," the public health unit said.

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