Aug 07, 2020
By Jane Brown
Toronto’s associate medical officer of health is warning the class size plan for elementary schools next month puts students at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
In an email to the Toronto District School Board, Dr. Vinita Dubey writes that “the number of students in the classroom should be smaller than usual class sizes.” She goes on to say, if someone in the class gets COVID-19, their risk to spread it to others will be larger with a higher class size.
This was a topic of discussion Thursday on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer.
Family physician Doctor Iris Gorfinkel explained that these large class sizes will have an impact on social bubbles, which families need to take seriously.
“If kids are to be exposed to hundreds of other kids, teachers, bus drivers and janitors, we need to make sure that those who are at highest risk are completely away from them,” Gorfinkel told Fight Back, “We have to think of it in terms of reopening in micro phases. So for example, if you’re used to being with your grandchild now and you’re at high risk, it makes a lot of sense to keep totally away from that grandchild.”
In Ontario, most classes for grades 1 to 3 must have 20 or fewer students, while the average class size in grades 4 to 8 is 24.5, which means some classes could hold more than 30 children, making physical distancing virtually impossible.