Managing COVID-19 symptoms and cases in schools
Parents are responsible for performing a daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using a self-assessment checklist. Students are expected to stay home if symptoms or possible exposures are identified and parents must phone the school to inform them of their child’s absence.
To assist with screening each day, parents can use the province’s COVID-19 school screening tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/. Screening your child every day before leaving for school is one of the best ways to help keep our schools and community safe.
Symptoms, Positive Cases, Return to School
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has developed protocols and documents outlining how symptoms and cases of COVID-19 will be managed in schools. It is important that all parents/students and staff review these documents for important information and steps the individuals, schools and Public Health will take in the event that a student of staff member has COVID-19 symptoms, tests positive for COVID-19, and process to return to school/work.
Public Health has developed three guidance documents that provide information and clear direction to schools:
- WDGPH Protocol for Students/Staff with COVID-19 Symptoms
- WDGPH Protocol when Student/Staff Tests Positive for COVID-19
- WDGPH Return to School Protocol for Students/Staff with COVID-19 Symptoms
**Please note that these documents may be revised as new information becomes available. For the most up to date documents, visit WDGPH’s website at https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-schools-parents-and-teachers/schools
Case, Contact and Outbreak Management
Public Health is responsible for determining if an outbreak in a school exists, managing the outbreak in collaboration with the school, and determining when the outbreak can be declared over.
Every individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by their local Public Health Unit (PHU) for further follow-up. The local PHU will notify the school of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Where the local PHU determines there was a transmission risk to others in the school, Public Health will perform a risk assessment for any contacts. All students and staff determined to be at high risk of exposure will be directed to isolate and recommended to be tested (voluntary testing) within their isolation period. PHU will determine which cohorts should self-isolate or whether a partial or full school closure is necessary due to the scope of the outbreak.
School Liaison Nurses will be available to provide support and be an important liaison between schools and WDGPH. One nurse will be assigned to multiple schools.
If parents have any COVID-19 questions or concerns, call WDGPH’s COVID-19 Call Centre at 519-822-2715 ext. 7006 or visit their website at wdgpublichealth.ca.
COVID-19 Advisory Reporting
In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school setting, the school board is required to post information on the board website. This information will be posted here: https://www.ugdsb.ca/community/coronavirus/reopening-schools-plan/covid-19-advisory-reporting/