Published Sunday, December 13, 2020 5:22PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 14, 2020 4:59AM EST
The board said students and staff at City Adult Learning Centre, Humewood Community School, RH McGregor Elementary School, David Lewis Public School, Grenoble Public School, and Oakridge Junior Public School will be moving to remote learning this week to allow Toronto Public Health (TPH) investigate the cases at the schools.
"Toronto Public Health looks at all of the unique circumstances involving each of the COVID cases at those individual schools. So, there is no specific number, for example, that has been reached to those schools that would prompt this," TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird told CP24.
"But they're looking at all the data. They know the contact tracing, they know the information behind this, and they advised this afternoon that it was best to close these two schools to students and staff, effectively until Monday, Jan. 4."
According to the TDSB dashboard, the five schools have a combined total of 22 cases among students.
Bird said the schools have sent letters to parents, including information from TPH, to notify them about the closures.
"The good news is that we were able to get it out, obviously before the dinner hour, so we could provide as much information as possible as early as possible, ahead of tomorrow," he said.
Thorncliffe Park Public School, which was shut down earlier this month after dozens of cases were uncovered following asymptomatic testing, will remain closed, as well as adjoining Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy.
"The specific details would have to come from Toronto Public Health, but it's my understanding is that they are looking at the cases, they're looking at how it's being transmitted. They're looking at all their contact tracing for these two specific schools," Bird said.
"They felt based on the information that they have that students and staff should continue to be dismissed."
There are 33 cases among students and staff at Thorncliffe Park Public School, while Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy have eight cases.
Last week, the TDSB announced that Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute will also be closed until January due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
In a statement, TPH said the decision to close schools is based on several factors. These include the number of cases, percent positivity, the specific details of the case investigation such as when the person was contagious and if they were at school, and where they could have gotten infected with COVID-19, any subsequent new cases occurring in the school, and how well the school, staff and students are implementing protective measures.
“TPH has many ongoing investigations of COVID-19 related to schools and we continue to make recommendations to coordinate testing on an ongoing basis,” the statement reads.
“We continue working with our school board partners in Toronto and the guidance from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education to make sure to the greatest extent as possible that our schools remain open for in-person learning as much as it is safely possible to do so.”
Bird said there will be cleaning conducted at the schools over the winter break.