All positive COVID tests in Ontario are now screened for variant strains

COVID-19 testing

Closed since the Christmas break, schools in Toronto will be permitted to open on February 16, the province announced Wednesday - bringing with it a new suite of precautions and rules meant to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.

"There's no flawless answer or solution during a pandemic", said Chief Medical Officer Eileen de Villa on Wednesday.

Schools in northern Ontario reopened on January 11 while 11 other public health units in southern Ontario reopened in the past few weeks.

Daily screening measures will also be more stringent.

Ontario schools are set to open across the province on Monday, February 8, with schools in Toronto, Peel and York opening the following week on February 16, after Family Day. "We anticipate fluctuations in case numbers over the next few days".

An error in the data system resulted in a negative case count for Toronto on Tuesday.

The province reports almost 64,500 tests completed, more than double the almost 28,600 tests completed two days ago.

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The number of COVID-19 active cases in First Nations communities has declined to the lowest point since early December, the department said, with 1,869 active cases reported as of yesterday. Tuesday's numbers saw the province dip below 1,000 for the first time since November 5.

Province-wide, about 500,000 kids chose to stay at home to learn this school year, which left almost 1.5 million attending classes.

Lecce said the province would continue to monitor COVID-19 trends and take further action if necessary.

There are 1,956 more resolved cases.

Among the active cases, 1,101 people are now in the hospital.

Among the hospitalized, 323 are in the ICU and 241 are on ventilators.

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