Ontario Government Giving $35M To School Boards in Pandemic Hotspots as Province Reports 615 New COVID-19 Cases

One month after Ontario schools have reopened for the new school year, the provincial government has announced it will be providing school boards in COVID-19 hotspots with an additional $35 million in funding to hire more teachers and invest in equipment for online learning.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Monday afternoon at Queen’s Park alongside Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

During his announcements, to reassure parents and students across the province, the Premier stressed that his government has “spared absolutely no expense” in ensuring classrooms are safe for students.

“Everyone has been doing a tremendous job to keep the classrooms as safe as possible,” said Premier Ford. “But we can’t take anything for granted. We know there are certain areas of the province that are seeing higher community spread. The schools in those places, they need some extra support.”

According to the provincial government, the new funding will be split proportionally between all public-school boards in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, and Ottawa, the four areas that have seen a significant spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks.

As of Monday, 335 schools in Ontario have reported a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in Ontario. Three schools have been closed, including a Catholic school in Toronto.

With concerns of the incoming flu season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Education Minister Stephen Lecce reassured parents that the province is preparing to strengthen safety for students, teachers, and parents in schools across the province.

“Now we know the flu season, the second wave is upon us,” said the Education Minister. “This province is ready to bolster our planning, and to strengthen safety in those targeted schools.”

According to Education Minister Lecce, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) will be receiving $9 million of the funding, which could be used to hire about 120 teachers or purchase 11,000 more computers and laptops for online learning.

The announced funding came just as the Toronto based school board reported it has struggled to hire enough teachers in the last month to compensate for an influx of remote learning registrants.

In mid-September, the TDSB said that the school board still needed 500 teachers to meet the growing demand for online learning. In an updated announcement on October 2, the school board had said they have filled 94 percent of those positions.

“For those students and families without a teacher since virtual school began on Sept. 22, we know how disappointing this has been,” the school board said in a statement last week.

“We are sorry that it has taken so long to get students set up in a classroom with a teacher and are doing everything possible to continue to place teachers so that learning can begin.”

When asked about potential measures to close schools amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the province, government officials would not say which factors would be considered when deciding whether to close schools in a neighbourhood or region.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams has said during a press conference that “things would have to increase far more than we’ve seen up until now” for the government to consider closing down schools.

The $35 million funding announced today is part of a $1.3 billion plan to reopen classrooms. About $500 million of that money was unlocked from the reserve funds of various school boards and $381 million was provided by the federal government.

Ontario COVID-19 Update and Statistics

On Monday, Ontario reported an additional 615 cases of COVID-19 as the province begins its move towards appointment-only testing for COVID-19.

Of the 615 new cases reported today, Toronto recorded 289 new cases while the Peel region reported 88 cases and the Ottawa region reported 81 new cases.

This past weekend, the Toronto Public Health Department announced it would temporarily suspend COVID-19 contact tracing outside of outbreaks in congregate settings such as long-term care homes because it is overwhelmed by a surge of new cases in the city.

In other regions of the province, other public health units that saw double-digit increases today include:

  • York Region, 47 new cases
  • Halton Region, 26 new cases
  • Waterloo Region, 15 new cases
  • Durham Region, 10 new cases.

According to the updates from Health Minister Christine Elliott, approximately 58 percent of the new cases reported today are in people under 40 years old. The share of new daily cases in this demographic has been slowly but steadily creeping downwards in recent weeks.

Ontario also recently announced it would end testing for asymptomatic people at its 153 COVID-19 assessment centres, instead of moving to an appointment-only model for those with symptoms of the disease. The decision was made, in part, to help labs clear the backlog of test samples.

Health experts however have warned the shift to appointment-only testing could result in artificially-low new daily case counts later this week.

To date, Ontario has now seen a total of 54,814 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began in late January. Of those, about 84.6 percent are resolved. Another 541 were marked resolved in today’s report.

There are currently around 5,474 confirmed, active cases of the illness provincewide, the most since April 26.

The number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed infections also continued its steady upward climb up to 176, seven more than yesterday. That figure may be an underestimate, however, as 35 hospitals did not submit data from their daily bed censuses in time to be factored into today’s report.

Forty-three patients are being treated in intensive care, and 26 are on ventilators, the most since early July.

Further, Ontario’s official COVID-19 death toll grew by five and is now 2,980.

This content is also available in: English

#seesomething, saysomething

Culture Magazin magazine always wants to listen and receive contributions from readers.
In case you submit articles about your ideas, interesting social events or hot news that you would like to share with us, email us at info@culturerus.com or inbox us at the FB page – https://www.facebook.com/culturemagazin.
Try our test reporter once. Quality articles will be selected and posted on Culturemagazin’s website and official social networking sites!
#seesomething, saysomething

Discover

Bài Liên Quan

Hỗ trợ mới $350 triệu đô cho các chương trình cộng đồng bị ảnh hưởng COVID-19, Trợ cấp 75% tiền lương bắt đầu nhận...

Khi số lượng COVID-19 vượt qua 2,5 triệu người bị nhiễm trên khắp thế giới và 38.206 ca ở Canada, Thủ tướng...

Người Canada Sẽ Được Phép Nhập Cảnh Vào Các Nước EU, Chính Phủ Liên Bang Gia Hạn Quy Tắc Kiểm Dịch Đối Với Khách...

Kể từ khi đại dịch bắt đầu vào tháng Ba, ngành du lịch và lữ hành dường như bị tê liệt, vì...

Bộ Y tế Canada có dữ liệu cuối cùng từ Moderna để đưa ra quyết định về vắc xin

Bộ Y tế Canada cho biết họ sẽ sớm thông báo kết quả về vắc xin COVID-19 thứ hai sau khi nhận...

Cafes and bars reopen in parts of Australia after coronavirus lockdown

Reported By: Reuters/Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Restaurants, cafes and bars in Australia's most populous state were reopening on...

Canada cam kết $850 triệu cho quỹ chống COVID-19 toàn cầu

Trong buổi họp Hội nghị Thượng đỉnh toàn cầu, diễn ra trực tuyến vào hôm nay, ngày 4/5, thủ tướng Justin Trudeau...

Ontario công bố tài trợ 47 triệu đô la cho Y tế công cộng

Trong bài phát biểu của mình tại Hội nghị Hiệp hội các thành phố Ontario năm 2020, Bộ trưởng Y tế Ontario...

Follow These Steps For The Best Phở Experience

Every bowl of phở offers a multisensory experience. Aromatic spices perfume the savoury complex broth, while tender meat and soft noodle...

This content is also available in: English