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Coronavirus information
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The Ontario government is asking the province’s school boards to try to spend $50-million to upgrade air quality in schools by Thanksgiving.

The request comes in a memo sent to boards by the Ministry of Education earlier this week.

The government announced the $50-million in funding for ventilation upgrades earlier this month and is urging boards to speed up spending.

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Alex Bozikovic: School ventilation could spread COVID-19. Why aren’t we talking about it?

Pandemic-focused school fundraising goals threaten to widen inequalities

The memo also outlines best practices to improve air quality, including opening school windows to increase air flow and using portable air-filtration units where possible.

The co-founder of advocacy group Fix Our Schools says the timeline will be difficult for school boards to meet given how late in the summer the funding has been allocated.

Krista Wylie says the guidelines also fail to take into account the poor condition many older schools are in, making the standards difficult for many boards to achieve.

Meanwhile, Ontario reported 122 new cases of COVID-19 and six new deaths related to the coronavirus on Friday.

The total number of cases now stands at 41,935, which includes 2,809 deaths and 38,023 cases marked as resolved.

There were 83 cases newly marked as resolved in Friday’s report.

The province said 61 people are currently in hospital with the virus and 18 are in intensive care – 12 of them on ventilators.

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The province was able to complete 31,823 tests in the previous day.

Premier Doug Ford is urging school boards to move quickly to spend $50 million on air quality upgrades as classes restart this fall. The Canadian Press

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

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