Thorncliffe Park Public School closed due to COVID-19 findings

Twenty-six students and staff have now tested positive for the virus

Thorncliffe Park Public School is closed and will remain closed for at least a week, due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Nineteen cases of coronavirus came to light during an asymptomatic testing pilot project at the school.

The positive tests of 18 students and one staff member at the school were announced Nov. 30 and the Toronto District School Board said 14 classes were being asked to self-isolate while the school would remain open.

Three days later, however, Toronto Public Health decided to shut down the entire school on Thorncliffe Park Drive.

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Thorncliffe Park principal Jeff Crane delivered the news to parents Dec. 3 evening, citing Public Health’s testing.

“To allow them time to finish their investigation and to perform additional voluntary COVID-19 testing, they have advised that, based on the current situation, all students and staff at the school be dismissed until at least Wednesday, December 9, 2020,” he wrote.

Learning will continue remotely, Crane told parents.

Current figures from the school board, as of Dec. 4 morning, indicate the number of active cases has risen at the school to 24 students and two staff.

This is far higher than the number of positive tests every other school listed on the board’s website, although this may be due to Thorncliffe Park being the first school to undergo such an intensive testing program.


Thorncliffe hotbed of coronavirus

The schools with the next highest number of active cases on the list are:

  • CALC Secondary School on Danforth Avenue in Riverdale (nine active cases)
  • Swansea Jr. and Sr. Public School in west-end Toronto (nine)
  • C.W. Jefferys Collegiate in North York (eight)
  • Ellesmere-Statton Public School in Scarborough (eight)
  • Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy, also in Thorncliffe Park (seven)
  • Maryvale Public School in Scarborough (seven)
  • North Albion Collegiate in Etobicoke (seven)

Also in the Thorncliffe area, Marc Garneau Collegiate on Overlea Boulevard reports six active cases and Valley Park Middle School, also on Overlea, reports four.

The Thorncliffe Park area has become a hotbed of coronavirus in the city. A recent study found 16.3 per cent of people tested for COVID-19 in the M4H postal code area tested positive, giving Thorncliffe the worst positivity rate in the city.

On Dec. 3, before the school’s closure, three staff members, the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario, refused to work, calling the work environment unsafe.

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Posted: Dec 4 2020 11:35 am