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2 Peel Region teachers test positive for coronavirus, 1 confirmed to have U.K. variant

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Officials say a coronavirus outbreak at a Peel Region school that saw two teachers test positive involved the U.K. variant.

Bruce Campbell, a spokesperson with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB), said the two affected staff members were teaching students remotely from the school. He didn’t identify which school the teachers worked at.

Campbell said one of the staff members was confirmed to have the highly contagious U.K. B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant.

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He said the teachers were “exercising together” at the school and, for at least a period of time, were not wearing masks despite a mandatory board policy on face coverings.

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“It was, and remains, DPCDSB’s expectation that school gyms and weight rooms were not to be used by staff for recreational purposes both during the pre-lockdown period as well as during the current lockdown period,” Campbell added.

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“This was reinforced through a communication to all DPCDSB principals in early January.”

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Campbell said an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Region’s medical officer of health, said in a statement the outbreak at the school has since been declared over and no other cases have been connected to it, adding the risk to the community is low.

Schools in Peel Region are set to reopen for in-person learning on Feb. 16 along with those in Toronto and York Region.

“Peel Public Health continues to work closely with our school board partners to implement enhanced measures to ensure that the opening of schools next week can be done safely and prioritizes the health and safety of the staff and students,” Loh said.

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