For the first time this school year, Toronto Public Health has dismissed all students from a school due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

school outbreak

Photo Credit: CBC News

On Tuesday, Etobicoke school, Silverthorn Collegiate Institute, will move from in-person learning to remote learning due to a COVID-19 outbreak. It has been recommended by Toronto Public  Public Health (TPH) that all students get tested.

The school dismissal could last 10 days but according to TPH could vary due to the ongoing investigation.

Joe Cressy

Photo Credit: CBC NewsJoe Cressy

“Nearly 19 months into this pandemic — and after all the ups and downs parents and students have been through — it’s an extremely hard decision,” said Ward 10 Councilman Joe Cressy. “While Toronto has become a world leader in vaccination rates, this dismissal further demonstrates that we’re not out of the woods yet.”

The decision came after an investigation over the weekend found potential exposure to students across multiple grades.

“Following a careful and detailed investigation, newly reported cases over the weekend, and potential exposures at multi-grade events, TPH has dismissed all students from in-person classes and activities at Silverthorn Collegiate Institute to protect students, staff and administration,” TPH said in a news release.

school outbreaks

Photo Credit: Bloomberg

An outbreak is declared by TPH when a school has two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases within 14 days. Toronto District School Board spokesperson, Ryan Bird said that as of Monday night, there were 11 confirmed student cases.

“We must continue with our relentless vaccination campaign and maintain a cautious and proactive approach to congregate settings like schools,” said Cressy.

According to TPH, there were 21 active school outbreaks and 30 active investigations in 122 schools as of Friday, October 8.

“COVID-19 activity in the school setting is not unexpected, given that the virus continues to circulate in Toronto,” said TPH.

You can find information regarding active school outbreaks here.