Scarborough Islamic school closed after 13 cases of COVID-19 identified

TORONTO — Students at an Islamic school in Scarborough will be temporarily dismissed from in-person classes and activities starting on Friday due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) said 13 coronavirus cases have been identified at Salaheddin Islamic School, including eight new infections reported Thursday.

“We are recommending a whole school dismissal as a precautionary measure to protect staff, students and the community from further COVID-19 transmission within the school,” TPH tweeted Thursday.

“TPH will continue to work w/ our school community & have notified close contacts & ask them to stay home, monitor for symptoms & get tested. We’ll work closely with our school partners to determine when in-person learning will resume.”

The principal of the school, which is located near Kennedy Road and Eglinton Avenue East and has 328 students, confirmed to CP24 that classes will be held virtually following TPH’s recommendation.

It is the second school in the city to close for in-person learning in the past week.

Last Friday, students at the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School in Etobicoke were temporarily dismissed due to a COVID-19 investigation that detected 18 cases at the time.

As of Thursday morning, there are 14 Toronto schools with active outbreaks.

Ontario’s publicly funded school boards reported Thursday 129 new cases among students and staff — the highest number in any single 24-hour period since Oct. 6.

The number of active cases linked to the public school system is also climbing. It now stands at 1,200, up 23 per cent from last week.

Also on Thursday, the province announced that Ontario students would be given rapid antigen COVID-19 tests to bring home in time for winter break as part of its testing strategy over the holidays.

Meanwhile, it is expected on Friday that Health Canada will authorize the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for children aged five to 11.

With files from CP24 staff and The Canadian Press

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