School Resources for COVID-19

COVID-19 school and child care screening tool

What to do if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

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School Re-opening

In-person learning continues in Ontario. Children and families should screen for COVID-19 daily: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/vaccinated

Current provincial guidelines do not require school and child care to report positive cases to Public Health. Some school boards have decided to continue informing families of positive cases, check individual board and school websites for more information.

Public health will no longer be dismissing cohorts. Any decisions on dismissals or closure of a school or child care will be made by administrators.

Please check the school board websites for additional details:

The school boards have consulted with Region of Waterloo Public Health on Ministry of Education guidance and continue to do so when the province releases new guidance.

For questions or concerns about the implementation of the provincial guidelines, please first speak with the administrator of the school.

How will public health measures reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools and child care settings?

Following public health measures in schools will support keeping students and staff safe. The most important measures continue to be physical distancing as much as possible, wearing a mask, staying home when sick, and washing hands. 

For tips about infection prevention and control for parents, guardians and caregivers, see Public Health Ontario's Preventing COVID-19: Tips for Children Attending School.

Screening

Children and families should screen for COVID-19 daily, the tool has been updated: 

Should students and staff use the contact tracing app?

Yes, we encourage everyone to use the COVID-19 Alert app. The more people using the app, the better for everyone. If someone gets COVID-19, they will enter a key in the app which will anonymously alert others who may be close contacts to go for testing. 

Exposure and symptoms

Visit www.Ontario.ca/Exposed for what to do if you've been exposed to COVID-19. Information is provided on symptoms and when to self-isolate or self-monitor.

Learn what to do if you think you have COVID-19.

Testing

Assessment Centre PCR Testing

Assessment and testing centres are only for those eligible for PCR testing. Find out more information about eligibility and assessment centres.

Rapid Antigen Testing

Rapid antigen tests continue to be provided through schools/child cares, as available, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Take a test as soon as symptoms appear. Take another test 24-48 hours later. If both tests are negative and symptoms improve for 24 hours, children can return to school/child care.

What is a rapid antigen test?

  • The rapid antigen tests being used are used are the BTNX Rapid Response, SD Biosensor, and Trimedic FaStep nasal tests
  • A rapid antigen test is done at home with a swab in the nose. It takes less than 30 minutes to test and get results 

How do you take a test?

There are 3 different varieties of rapid antigen tests that are being distributed by the province.

 

PCR self-collection kits

Until schools have enough rapid tests on hand and available, at home PCR self-collection kits will be distributed to children who develop symptoms while at school. Instructions for use will be provided.

Case and contact management

 Reporting

Current provincial guidelines do not require school and child care to report positive cases to Public Health. Some school boards have decided to continue informing families of positive cases, check individual board and school websites for more information.

Public Health will not be notifying families of each COVID-19 case or exposure within their child's school or child care.

The Ministry of Education has indicated that when 30% of students and staff are absent (above average absences), schools and public health will work together to notify families.

Cohort dismissal and school closures

Public health will no longer be dismissing cohorts. Any decisions on dismissals or closure of a school or child care will be made by administrators.

Positive cases

School and child care related positive PCR cases (results of those eligible for testing) will be contacted by the provincial workforce for case and contact management.

Vaccination

Vaccines are an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and allow families to safely resume normal activities.

A person is considered to be fully vaccinated 14 days or more since they have received their second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

For more information on children and vaccines see vaccine information for parents/guardians of children (5-11)

Book now for a vaccine appointment

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