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In-person classes canceled in Toronto amid uptick in variant cases

In-person classes canceled in Toronto amid uptick in variant cases
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Canadian health authorities announced on Wednesday that Toronto, the most populated city in the country, would be canceling in-person learning for students in elementary and secondary school as it deals with another wave of coronavirus cases.

As Reuters reports, Canada’s largest school district will be moving its 247,000 students to remote learning until April 18.

“Schools should be the first places in our community to open, and the last to close,” Toronto Public Health said in a statement. “Unfortunately, current circumstances require that difficult decisions must be taken locally to protect all those in our school communities.”

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Canada has averaged around 5,200 new COVID-19 cases per day this past week, Reuters notes, with younger Canadians being more affected in the latest surge, which has seen an increasing demand for artificial lungs as well as staffing struggles in hospitals.

“Around the world, countries are facing a very serious third wave of this pandemic,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauIt's time to declare a national climate emergency In-person classes canceled in Toronto amid uptick in variant cases Will Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? MORE told reporters in Ottawa. “And right now, so is Canada.”

Last Thursday, Ontario, which includes Toronto, announced a new round of shutdown measures that would stay in effect for 28 days, though it fell short of issuing a stay-at-home order.

Canada has recorded more than 1 million coronavirus cases so far and more than 23,000 related deaths. Ontario currently has a coronavirus case rate of 2,495 per 100,000 people, a lower rate than several other Canadian provinces such as Quebec and Alberta. In terms of overall total cases, Ontario ranks the worst with 367,602 confirmed.