Experts warn snow days may be rare in 2019 as more extreme weather thaws roads and freezes pipes across the country. More than 200 snow storms and more than 1,400 ice storms have hit Canada in 2018.
As of 5:00 p.m. ET today, there are 86 reported cases of severe winter storms in Ontario during 2018, including a winter storm that flooded large sections of southern Ontario.
“Schools have not taken their snow days. Schools are being scheduled for almost every possible time, especially the ones that weren’t scheduled at all,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Education.
The number of weather-related public health concerns, including the ongoing cold snap, are the most likely reasons that schools are being scheduled, but some schools still make up the snow days.
The Southern Ontario Public Health Agency has confirmed a total of 488 confirmed cases of flu and 168 confirmed cases of influenza A/H3N2 this year, including 194 cases of flu and 89 cases of influenza B.
According to a province-wide Public Health Canada flu report, more than 675 people were hospitalized during the season.
More than 53 percent of hospitalizations occurred in children under five years old, and the report says the predominant strain in 2019 has not been as severe as this year’s.
In Nunavut, the regional medical officer of health said there are “positive signs that fewer cases of influenza A have been reported in the past two weeks,” according to the Canadian Press. He said the virus is proving to be less severe than this year’s version, too.
It is not yet known if the higher number of cases of influenza A/H3N2 and influenza B in Ontario are linked.