Ontario opposition calls for faster testing as many schools close due to COVID-19

TORONTO – Opposition politicians want to widely disseminate rapid COVID-19 tests to Ontario students sooner as many schools close due to virus cases, but the education minister says the situation is under control.

Government figures as of Thursday show 16 schools have had to close due to the COVID-19 outbreak or other operational considerations.

Nearly 700 of the province’s 4,844 schools – or just over 14% – have had COVID-19 cases reported.

In the wake of the school closures, Ontario Green Leader Mike Schreiner has urged the government to make the rapid tests free and accessible now, rather than waiting for the planned December holiday.

Read more:

Ontario reports 748 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths

The opposition New Democrats also raised the issue in the legislature on Thursday, saying the rapid tests should have come sooner and demanding action to prevent a spike in cases. learn.

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Education Minister Stephen Lecce said five of the schools were closed for operational reasons, not the COVID-19 outbreak, and maintained that schools were safe for students.

He also pointed to the province’s plan to send each child home a quick test kit during the December holiday and other testing initiatives.

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