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Several COVID-19 outbreaks across Canada have marred the first week of back-to-school, prompting school closures and class cancellations.
In P.E.I., Dr. Heather Morrison has made the decision to cancel classes at several Charlottetown schools following six confirmed coronavirus cases among people under the age of 19.
On Saturday, the chief public health officer reported that a student at West Royalty Elementary had tested positive for COVID-19. Four of the new cases announced Sunday are considered close contacts of the case associated with West Royalty School.
“The situation at West Royalty Elementary School is considered an outbreak, the first school outbreak in P.E.I. since the pandemic began,” Morrison said Sunday.
“We are erring on the side of caution, assuming the new cases are the highly transmissible delta variant.”
Across the Confederation Bridge, Monday classes will be cancelled for Grade 11 students at Sugarloaf Senior High School in Campbellton, N.B., after a student tested positive.
Grade 11 students and their parents will be provided more information about the situation on Sunday, said superintendent Mark Donovan.
In Plaster Rock, N.B., all Monday classes at Donald Fraser Memorial School have been cancelled after two cases were confirmed.
The school says cleaning and contact tracing will be performed, and student should expect to return on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in Ontario, at least 208 students in the Windsor area have been sent home from exposure to positive COVID-19 cases.
Four schools in the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB) reported cases Friday and one of those reported a second case Sunday. In total, 148 students have been told not to return to class in the last three days.
All schools remain open, according to the WECDSB’s website.
Outbreaks have also been reported at several schools in Alberta, where about 2,000 people turned out to a rally in Calgary Sunday to protest vaccine mandates and other public health measures.
Four Calgary schools have ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. Other schools in the province are also affected: In the Medicine Hat school district, every school reported positive cases last week.
What’s happening across Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of Sunday, more than 224.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 case tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at 4.6 million.
In Asia, Bangladesh has reopened schools and other educational institutions after 543 days of closure as its virus situation eases and more people are vaccinated. Authorities decided to reopen after almost 97 per cent of the country’s teachers and staff have been vaccinated, the government says.
In the Americas, Los Angeles County school officials ordered vaccinations for all students aged 12 and over, becoming the largest school district in the United States to take that step. School board members voted unanimously to mandate the shots in the coming weeks, despite angry objections from several parents.
In Africa, schools in Egypt are scheduled to resume in-person classes next week, but rising cases are alarming authorities. Daily cases in the country — the Arab world’s most populous with 100 million people — have been spiking in recent weeks since the more contagious delta variant was detected in the country in July.
In Europe, authorities in Britain have decided not to require vaccine passports for entry into nightclubs and other crowded events in England, Britain’s health secretary said Sunday, reversing course amid opposition from some of the Conservative government’s supporters in Parliament
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