The schools will move to online learning only and will remain closed until April 18.
Peel Public Health has issued a Section 22 order, under the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act, to close all schools in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga for two weeks effective 12:01 a.m. on April 6, 2021 and move to remote learning only. If your child attends a school in Peel region, they are not allowed to attend child care centres or day camps, including those offered by child care providers, during this closure.
The spread of COVID-19 has never been greater in Toronto, with variants of concern increasing both the risk of transmission and the risk of serious illness or death.
Students at the schools in the two boards will shift to remote learning.
Toronto Public Health is not making the same move, saying earlier it will "continue to manage risk on a school-by-school basis, taking immediate and appropriate action to address these complex outbreaks".
While the province's education minister and other officials insist schools are safe, critics question how many children and youth may be coming to class asymptomatic but contagious.
The province's top doctor also expressed confidence on Tuesday that schools are safe, but said contact tracers in Peel Region and Toronto were dealing with too many cases to confidently rule out transmission within schools. "I think it's necessary".
"I know we're working on a plan as well, for the teachers, and we'll be working along with the boards, the minister of education and the minister of health", Ford said. "This guiding principal is supported by other organizations, including SickKids, indicating schools should be first to open and last to close", it said in a statement.
However they said they continue to "closely monitor" the situation in schools and will close individual schools as necessary.
Siddiqui said her family will decide based on case numbers whether it's safe for their children to return to in-person classes after the spring break ends. In February, the government delayed March Break by one month to keep students in the classroom and prevent further COVID-19 transmission. There are over 1,000 schools with at least one reported case and 83 are now closed as a result.
Meanwhile, two Niagara Region school boards said staff would be eligible for COVID-19 shots starting next week.
Many teachers, the unions have said, are required to be in classrooms where children are eating without masks on during lunchtime and snack times.
"It makes very little sense to me why it took so long actually for this decision to be made", she said.
Romana Siddiqui said her family had already made a decision to keep their three kids home by the time the Peel Region school closure was announced Monday. However the health and safety of students and staff remain a priority.
She said there were 10-12 workers across three schools who refused to work today because they felt it was unsafe.
"We'll have to just take a wait-and-see approach", she said.