Other GTA health units say they don't plan to follow Toronto's lead in pausing school extracurriculars

Ontario has released their back-to-school plan for September.

Extracurricular activities have been put on hold at Toronto public schools amid concerns about the fourth wave of the pandemic but officials elsewhere in the GTA say that they have no plans to follow suit, at least for now.

Both the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) announced on Wednesday that they would pause extra-curricular activities, field trips and mixed-cohort high-contact sports for the month of September following a recommendation from Toronto Public Health.

However, it appears that students elsewhere in the GTA will still be able to participate in extracurricular activities as provided for in the Ford government’s back-to-school plan.

“We are not currently considering a pause on extracurricular activities at this time in the region of Peel. I think there is a recognition that segmenting parts of the school day can be quite challenging,” Peel’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh told CP24 on Thursday morning.

“We are certainly going to continue monitoring and making sure that we continue to see what is going on. But we are trying to give children at least some sort of fulsome return to school.”

The TDSB had said as recently as last week that it was planning for a gradual return to extracurricular activities in the fall and would limit students to participating in one to two indoor activities at first as a precaution.

But the board switched tactics on the eve of classes resuming, issuing a memo to parents detailing the “pause.”

"It is based on the current situation in Toronto and based on an interest in having a prudent and cautious return to school," Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa told CP24 shortly after the announcement was made.

Officials in York Region have also confirmed that they do not have any plans to recommend a pause in extracurricular activities at the time.

That said York Region Public Health has put several additional precautions in place, including a ban on indoor assemblies for the month of September and move to only allow high contact sports to be played outdoors.