The Toronto District School Board is doubling down on its cleaning efforts this week. Staff and students at Whitney Junior, a Toronto public school, are being warned they could’ve been exposed to COVID-19 after it was discovered a resident diagnosed with the virus had visited the school. The infected person, who was not showing symptoms at the time, entered the school on March 4, 2020. This coronavirus case in Toronto is one of the many that have been announced this week.
It is not known why the person was in the school, but the TDSB has confirmed that they are not a teacher or a student.
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, sent out a letter to the school’s community members over the weekend about the virus.
“As we are notified of cases of COVID-19, we carefully evaluate them individually and follow up immediately with these people to connect directly with them and to identify their close contacts. We use current evidence to assess potential health risk, provide education, further instructions and to reduce the potential of virus spread,” she stated, per CTV News.
Despite the new development, Dr. de Villa assured that the risk to staff and students was low.
However, anyone displaying symptoms is being asked to stay home and call ahead if they need to seek medical treatment.
A spokesperson for the TDSB, Ryan Bird, told CP24 that "enhanced cleaning" measures had been taken in response to the news.
“We take our lead from Toronto Public Health, and they have not recommended any additional precautions outside of what was outlined for the community in the letter,” he said.
We are receiving many questions about #COVID19 & are grateful people are asking us to get informed. Please visit ou… https://t.co/IlkZmq5Bdd— Toronto Public Health (@Toronto Public Health)1583525556.0
Toronto Public Health announced on March 8, 2020, that it was monitoring 15 positive cases of COVID-19 in the city. Several travel health advisories have been set in place as a result.
"At this time, the virus is not circulating locally. However, given the global circumstances, TPH is actively working with city and health partners to plan for the potential of local spread," read a statement on the City of Toronto’s website.
Read my latest statement on the newest #COVID19 cases in Toronto, our ongoing response and how you can stay informe… https://t.co/YD6BabwU5r— Dr. Eileen de Villa (@Dr. Eileen de Villa)1583183544.0
However, Ontario school boards announced widespread cancellations on European trips last week.
Thames Valley, York Region, Toronto Catholic School Boards, and District School Board of Niagara have all confirmed cancellations of scheduled overseas trips due to a growing concern of the virus.
The TTC and GO transit are also cracking down on cleaning after a resident who contracted COVID-19 had been reported to use both transit systems while travelling home from a trip to Las Vegas earlier this month.