March 6, 2020

Letter to families regarding novel coronavirus - March 6, 2020

​Dear Peel District School Board Community,

As you may be aware, Peel Public Health has confirmed Peel Region's first and second cases of COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus. As with all public health matters, the Peel District School Board works closely with Peel Public Health and other health agencies to monitor and address concerns, and that is the case with COVID-19. 

We have confirmed that the individuals with the confirmed cases of COVID-19 contracted the illness outside of Peel Region and there is no community spread of COVID-19 at this time. There is no widespread local transmission of the virus and the risk of acquiring the illness from a school setting remains low. As such, at this time, Public Health Agency of Canada is NOT recommending the closure of schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

Although risk continues to be low for Ontario and Peel residents, the Peel board will be taking the following proactive measures in all Peel schools and work sites:

  • Staff will reinforce regular hand washing and proper hand hygiene
  • Staff will share reminders with students to be mindful of coughing and sneezing etiquette.
  • Students, staff and volunteers will be reminded to stay home when they are ill.
  • Custodial staff will take extra care to ensure soap dispensers are filled at all times and hand dryers are working.
  • Cleaning routines will be adjusted so that commonly touched surfaces, such as door knobs, panic bars, push plates on doors, etc. are now cleaned twice daily, and all classroom desks, tabletops, etc. will now be cleaned on a daily basis.
Public health agencies agree that hand washing remains the best method to prevent the spread of the virus. Staff and students who wish to bring hand sanitizer to school or work for their personal use can do so. It should:
  • be unscented
  • come in a travel size bottle (60ml or less)
  • not be shared with others
  • be stored with your personal items
  • be marked with your name
We know that news of COVID-19 can create feelings of anxiousness and concern, and unfortunately, these can sometimes lead to members of our community being targeted and treated unkindly. Despite positive intentions, when we make assumptions about perceived risks and demand action that is different than what is being directed by health professionals, we may be demonstrating bias, racism or xenophobia. As members of a caring community, we ask that you continue to be welcoming and respectful of everyone in our learning and working spaces. 

We remain in close contact with Peel Public Health and are continuing to monitor the situation closely. In the event that risk increases in Peel Region, the Peel board will activate a comprehensive COVID-19 preparedness plan. 

We are committed to providing staff and families with updates as we receive new information and direction. This communication will be shared on our website

For more information about COVID-19, Mississauga and Brampton residents can call 905-799-7700, and Caledon residents can call 905-584-2216. You can also visit the Peel Public Health website, talk to your doctor or call TeleHealth at 1-866-797-0000.

Thank you for your support as we work to minimize the risk and spread of COVID-19.

Peter Joshua
Director of Education

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