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COVID-19 School and Child Care Information for Parents

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Ontario's COVID-19 School and Child care Screening Tool

COVID-19 Information for Child Care Operators

Halton Region Public Health is working closely with local school boards and private schools to implement provincial standards for operating schools safely during COVID-19. Public Health provides up-to-date guidance and support to protect students, families, school staff and visitors to schools during the pandemic. Each school board and private school creates their own school reopening plans based on Ministry and Public Health guidance.

Current situation

Throughout the 2022-2023 school year, Halton Region Public Health will continue to work closely with school boards to limit the spread of COVID-19 in schools, support students' well-being, and ensure their health and safety remain a top priority.

While most public health measures have been lifted, several protective measures remain, including:

  • Encouraging good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Focus on completing the daily screening before attending school
  • Continued access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for staff and students
  • School board monitoring of absenteeism rates

These protective measures are strengthened by rising rates of child and youth vaccination. Individual vaccination offers the best possible protection against COVID-19 infection!

Ministry of Education and Health provides COVID-19 guidance for schools (external link). Please refer to your school or school board if you have questions or require guidance about COVID-19.

If you are seeking guidance for non-school aged children, see Ministry of Education COVID-19: health and safety measures for child care (external link) and speak with your child care operator.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit Halton’s COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) webpage.

Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Getting vaccinated is the best defense against COVID-19 and an important way to reduce the spread. Stay up-to-date by getting all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

All Halton residents 6 months of age or older can get their COVID-19 vaccine. Find out where to get vaccinated.

For more information on:

For information about Halton Region Community Vaccination Clinics, including transportation options, accessibility, accommodation and language supports available please visit Halton’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics webpage.

COVID-19 vaccines are only provided if informed consent is received from the person to be vaccinated, including those 12 to 17 years of age, and as long as the individual has the capacity to make this decision. This means that they understand:

  • what vaccination involves;
  • why it is being recommended; and
  • the risks and benefits of accepting or refusing to be vaccinated.

As a part of informed consent, anyone receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be informed of the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis (external PDF), and advised to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms including shortness of breath, chest pain, or the feeling of a rapid or abnormal heart rhythm.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Province has issued a recommendation of the use of the Pfizer vaccine (external link) as opposed to Moderna, for individuals aged 18 to 24 years old.  Should individuals aged 18 to 24 wish to receive Moderna, they may continue to do so with informed consent. The province will continue using the Pfizer vaccine for youth ages 12 to 17 (including those turning 12 in 2021).

To help youth and families make an informed decision, the Province has developed a number of resources based on expert medical advice and scientific information:

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 in schools and child care

Note: Please consult first with your childcare operator for their center specific policies and procedures, guidance and for any additional child care related questions.

Families are to use the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening (external link) (online tool) every day of the week, including weekends. Parents and caregivers can complete the tool on behalf of a student/child.

The screening tool cannot diagnose you. Use the screening tool every day, including weekends, to help you decide if you should or should not go to school/child care.

The screening tool provides next steps for the individual and household contacts; including when it is safe to return to school or child care.

  • The most up-to-date guidance takes into consideration all viruses circulating during the fall/winter season and not just COVID-19. Therefore the current guidance is that all individuals should stay home if they develop any new or worsening symptoms. At this time, isolation and masking recommendations are mainly dependent on symptom(s) and health status.
  • We encourage all individuals to continue their daily screening (external link) before attending school or child care to obtain accurate instructions on isolation and masking. The screening tool provides the next steps for the individual and household contacts, including when it is safe to return to school or child care.

A child with symptoms of COVID-19 will be immediately separated from others and supervised in a designated room.

The parent/guardian of the child will be contacted to pick them up immediately and will be advised to complete the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening (external link) (PDF’s are available for download) and have the ill individual follow the direction provided from the results of the above screening.

Your child should stay home from school/child care if they are feeling unwell.

Complete the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool (external link). The screening tool provides next steps for the individual and household contacts, including when it is safe to return to school or child care.

Anyone who is sick or has any symptoms of illness, including those not listed in the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool (external link), should stay home until their symptoms are improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms), to limit the spread of other illnesses and may seek assessment from a health care provider.

Complete the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening tool (external link). The tool will provide direction about when an individual can return back to school or child care after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Educational materials for parents

Halton Region School Board Plans

School board reopening plans describe how they will protect the health and safety of students, families, school staff and visitors to schools. Plans are informed by the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19: Health and Safety Measures at Schools (external link) and Halton Region Public Health.

School- focused COVID-19 nurses work closely with private and public school boards, support the implementation of infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures, monitor absenteeism related to COVID-19 illness and provide recommendations and resources to ensure the health and safety of staff, students, guardians and visitors.

To find details about your local school board’s plans for reopening, please visit their website:

For private schools, refer to the school’s website.

Learn more

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