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Toronto school with 26 COVID-19 cases temporarily closing as 3 teachers refuse work

Click to play video 'Thorncliffe Park PS temporarily closed after 24 students, 2 staff test positive for COVID-19' Thorncliffe Park PS temporarily closed after 24 students, 2 staff test positive for COVID-19
WATCH ABOVE: The outbreak at the Toronto elementary school was uncovered as part of a new pilot project in COVID-19 hotspots to voluntarily test asymptomatic staff and students. Marianne Dimain reports – Dec 4, 2020

The Toronto District School Board says Thorncliffe Park Public School, where 26 people have tested positive for coronavirus, will be closing temporarily after three teachers refused work.

The teachers walked out on Thursday but the board said their classes are being covered by other non-core staff in the school.

According to the TDSB’s website, as of Thursday afternoon, there were 24 cases among students and two cases among staff, with 17 cases resolved.

Read more: 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at an elementary school in East York

Last week, 433 tests were completed as part of a pilot project from the Ontario government for voluntary COVID-19 testing of students and staff without symptoms in schools.

In a letter to parents released by the TDSB Thursday evening, it said Toronto Public Health advised the school should be dismissed until at least Dec. 9 (later extended to Dec. 14) pending the outcome of an investigation and additional testing.

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“Based on this advice, students and staff will not be permitted to enter the building until at least that time,” the letter said.

“Our remaining classes that are not already at home will begin remote learning and your child’s teacher will be contacting you shortly to provide more information.”

Click to play video '3 teachers refuse work at Toronto school after 26 test positive for coronavirus' 3 teachers refuse work at Toronto school after 26 test positive for coronavirus
3 teachers refuse work at Toronto school after 26 test positive for coronavirus – Dec 3, 2020

The TDSB said earlier in the day they are working with the Ministry of Labour and the teachers to address their concerns.

On Sunday, 18 students and one staff member tested positive for the virus which has increased since then.

This is the second school in Toronto where teachers have walked out over coronavirus concerns. In early November, teachers at Glamorgan JPS in Scarborough refused to work after positive cases were detected.

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— With files from Katrina Ramlochan.