COVID-19 Info: Schools

Last updated: November 18, 2022

View the Chief Medical Officer of Health's Letter to Parents and Caregivers - Fall Respiratory Season.

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) continues to support local school administrators with managing COVID-19 and safely operating schools. This includes working with our school boards and private schools.

COVID-19: health and safety measures at schools include self-screening, cleaning practices, ventilation, and access to rapid antigen tests.

Screening and staying home if ill

Students, teachers, school staff and visitors should self-screen for symptoms of respiratory illness every day before going to school.

Use the school and child care screening tool to assess your child or yourself for symptoms. The results will tell you:

  • if you should go to school or stay home
  • what to do next

 Be sure to read all of the guidance provided on the screening tool.

COVID-19 testing and isolation information

If you have questions about COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines, please call the Provincial Testing and Isolation line at 1-888-777-0730. It is available 7 days a week from 8am to 6pm.

Staying safe in school

While most COVID-19 public health measures have been lifted, COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)  are still circulating in our community and remain a health risk. Children under the age of five are especially vulnerable to influenza and RSV. The following protective measures will help reduce the risk of respiratory virus transmission in schools.

  • Monitoring yourself and your children for respiratory symptoms daily, including using the School and childcare screening tool
  • Staying home when sick
  • Wearing a well-fitted face mask
  • Staying up-to-date with COVID-19 and influenza vaccines
  • Testing for COVID-19 (using a Rapid Antigen Test) if symptomatic or exposed to someone with the virus
  • Practicing good hand hygiene (washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
  • Cleaning high-touch surfaces regularly, which is especially important to reduce the risk of flu viruses and RSV spread.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, a mask, or your elbow

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I’ve been exposed / who do I tell if I test positive for COVID-19?

It is the responsibility of the individual with COVID-19 symptoms or a COVID-19 positive test to determine who their close contacts are and to notify them of their potential exposure.

Does my child need to wear a mask?

At this time, it is strongly recommended that all Ontarians, including students, wear a well-fitted mask in all indoor public settings, including schools and childcare.

There will still be instances where students and staff wear masks during the school day including:

  • if they:

    • are recovering from COVID-19 symptoms and are no longer isolating for 10 days from when symptoms started
    • have tested positive for COVID-19 and do not have symptoms for 10 days from the positive test result
    • have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 symptoms and/or a positive test result for 10 days from last exposure

We encourage and remind everyone to remain kind, considerate, and respectful toward everyone if they are wearing a mask or not.

What do I do if my child tests positive for COVID-19?

The isolation period for symptomatic school-aged individuals with no additional complications is until symptoms have been improving for 24 hours; with no fever or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) are involved.

If the individual tested positive for COVID-19 but has no symptoms they do not have to isolate. If symptoms occur they need to isolate immediately.

For information on isolation and what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 call the Provincial Testing and Isolation line at 1-888-777-0730 (available Monday to Sunday from 8am-6pm). 

What do I do after COVID-19 isolation ends?

For 10 days after COVID-19 symptom onset or positive test result, be sure to:

  • Wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings
  • Avoid non-essential activities where mask removal is necessary
  • Not visit anyone who is immunocompromised or at higher risk of illness
  • Avoid all non-essential visits to highest risk settings such as hospitals and long-term care homes

Supporting mental health for students, parents and educators

Please visit Local supports for mental health services in Huron Perth.