Ongoing distribution of rapid antigen tests in schools
February 8, 2022
As you may recall, the Ministry of Education provided Ontario schools with rapid antigen tests for distribution prior to the Winter Break, as well as an additional distribution when in-person learning resumed this winter.
Please note that moving forward, the Ministry will be providing schools with some additional RATs on a regular basis, however due to the current provincial supply, they will not be providing enough for all students to receive additional RATs on a regular basis.
*Please note: Moving forward RATs provided in schools are only to be used when an individual is experiencing…
One of the following symptoms:
- Fever and/or chills
- Shortness of breath
- Decrease or loss of taste or smell
Two or more of the following symptoms:
- Runny nose/nasal congestion
- Extreme fatigue
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches/joint pain
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (i.e. vomiting or diarrhea)
The RATs available at schools will be distributed to students on an as-needed basis. For example, a student who was required to be away from school and used their previously RATs during that unplanned absence – the school may distribute an additional two tests to this student upon their return to in-person learning.
- ELEMENTARY STUDENTS: In-person elementary students who require additional tests due to an unplanned absence are asked to communicate this to their child’s teacher.
- SECONDARY STUDENTS: In-person secondary students who require additional tests due to an unplanned absence are asked to request them through their school office.
As a reminder, the Ministry has not provided RATs for students enrolled in the standalone elementary or secondary remote programs.
Updated provincial guidance for the use of rapid antigen tests
The Chief Medical Officer of Health has updated guidance for anyone who has had a positive test result (molecular/PCR or RAT). Individuals who receive a positive test result should not participate in antigen testing for 30 days from their COVID-19 infection (based on the date of their symptom onset or test). After this period, symptomatic individuals can resume COVID-19 rapid antigen testing in accordance with the Interim Guidance for Schools and Child Care during the Omicron Surge.