Ontario asks school boards to conduct asymptomatic tests in 5% of schools every week

LONDON, ONT. – Ontario school boards, including the two largest in London, are urged to perform asymptomatic tests in five percent of schools each week.

The direction was given by Education Minister Stephen Lecce in a memo on Tuesday.

School boards with 10 schools or less will not be required to participate in the program.

School boards will be required to test students and staff in at least five percent of schools under their jurisdiction each week.

The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) operates 161 schools in London and surrounding counties, meaning around eight schools are expected to be tested each week.

For the London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB), the number of schools requiring testing is approximately three.

Lecce said the council was encouraged to prioritize schools in areas with high COVID-19 rates, or schools where testing may be difficult.

According to CP24, the province has set aside 50,000 tests per week for testing staff and students and school boards will be required to submit weekly reports.

The ministry hopes that at least two percent of students are affected each week.

The new program is expected to be in place locally by February 22.

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