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Current situation

  • Publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools return to in-person learning on January 17, 2022:
  • As of January 17, before and after school programs will resume, and the emergency child care program will end on January 14, 2022.
  • Given the widespread transmission of the Omicron variant and changes to the provincial testing approach, schools and child care operators will no longer be required to routinely notify families of positive cases or if an individual is absent due to symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Reporting a case of covid-19 to Public Health:

  • There is no requirement for parent(s)/guardians/principals/child care operators to report a positive PCR/RAT result to public health.
  • The Province has updated its guidance on self-isolation, self- monitoring, symptoms, and COVID-19 testing. To get the latest information on what to do if you were exposed to COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and others, please visit ontario.ca/exposed (external link).
  • The Ministry of Education requires schools and childcare centres to report when absenteeism rates rise to a level of approximately 30% or more above baseline to their local Public Health Unit. Instructions on how to report will be shared soon.

Updated testing and case and contact management for schools and child care

  • Testing and case and contact management have shifted to focus on highest risk settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities and congregate living settings.
  • Halton Region Public Health will not be dismissing cohorts
  • Any dismissals or closures of a school or childcare setting will be contingent on operational requirements determined by the school board, school, and/or child care operator.

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19:

What to do if you test negative for COVID-19:

  • If you had one negative result for the PCR test or for two negative RATs (Rapid Antigen Tests) taken 24 hours apart, you can return to school/child care if it has been at least 24 hours since your symptoms started improving (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea).
  • Ensure the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening tool (external link) is completed prior to returning to school and always follow the direction provided from the results.

What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19:

What to do if you had exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or someone with symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Visit Ontario.ca/exposed (external link) and complete the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool (external link) to determine if you need to self-isolate.
  • Individuals you have come into contact with only at school/childcare, with all public health measures in place, are NOT generally considered close contacts.
  • However, specific individuals in school or child care settings may be identified by the case as close contacts based on their prolonged, unprotected, close interactions with the case either in or outside of the setting.

Child care for non-school aged children:

Public Health Nurse Support for Schools

During the 2021-2022 school year, the Region's public health nurses will focus on:

  • supporting school board/private schools related to school operations during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • providing infection prevention and control advice to schools.

All schools continue to have access to school health information, resources and consultation. If you have any questions, please contact schoolhealth@halton.ca or call 311.

Online Services

COVID-19 Public Health Guidance and Resources

The following guidance is intended for school boards, administrators, trustees and staff.

Please direct your school community to visit Halton Region’s COVID-19 School and Child Care Information and COVID-19 webpages for more information.

Public Health Update for Schools

This electronic newsletter consolidates information, updates and resources from Halton Region Public Health on a variety of program areas.

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