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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.

Current situation

Publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools:

Publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools in Halton region returned to in-person learning on February 8, 2021.

On February 8, Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, issued a letter to parents on the reopening of schools in Halton.

For updated guidance from the Province, please visit Ontario’s COVID-19: Reopening Schools webpage (external link).

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 Guide to Reopening Ontario’s Schools (external link) and Halton Region Public Health’s guidance. To find details about your local school board is planning for reopening, please visit their website:

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

How Halton Region Public Health is supporting schools

Halton Region Public Health:

  • provides recommendations and resources to help school boards and private schools develop policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of staff, students, parents/guardians and visitors;
  • supports training and educational opportunities for school staff regarding infection prevention and control practices;
  • develops processes and protocols for managing sick students and staff at school;
  • develops guidance around managing a confirmed case of COVID-19 and an outbreak at school;
  • ensures schools have child-friendly resources that support healthy behaviours in the school setting;
  • supports infection prevention and control (IPAC) with schools; and
  • conducts surveillance of student/staff absenteeism specific to COVID-19.

Educational materials for parents

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Frequently asked 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.

In addition to the requirement for students, staff and visitors to perform daily self-screening, secondary school students and all staff and visitors will need to provide validation of daily self-screening prior to or upon their arrival at school.

Children with a new or worsening symptom of COVID-19, even those with only one symptom, must stay home, without exemption, until:

  • they receive a negative COVID-19 test result;
  • they receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional; or
  • it has been 10 days since their symptom onset and they are feeling better.

Follow the direction provided from the results of the online Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening (external link) (PDF’s are available for download). Parents and caregivers can complete the tool on behalf of a student.

Complete the screening tool every day of the week, including weekends.

The results from the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening provide direction for children related to isolation and complement the COVID-19 Class Order (PDF file).

If referred for testing, remain isolated and excluded from school until test results are received.

All asymptomatic household contacts of symptomatic individuals are required to quarantine, without exemption, even for essential reasons, until the symptomatic individual receives a negative COVID-19 test result, or an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.

The School and Child Care Protocol for Individuals with COVID-19 Symptoms (PDF file) is an additional resource to provide direction on steps you should take if your child has symptoms of COVID-19.

The Government of Ontario’s online COVID-19 school and child care screening tool (external link) has been updated to direct students and staff to stay home, without exemption, if they report any new or worsening symptom of COVID-19 (even those with only one symptom).

Follow the direction provided from the results of the online Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening (external link) (PDF’s are available for download). Parents and caregivers can complete the tool on behalf of a student.

Complete the screening tool every day of the week, including weekends.

The results from the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening provide direction for children related to isolation and complement the COVID-19 Class Order (PDF file).

If referred for testing, remain isolated and excluded from school until test results are received.

Staff, students and children are required to stay home from school or child care if anyone in their household has a new or worsening symptom of COVID-19 and has been recommended for isolation and testing.

All asymptomatic household contacts of symptomatic individuals are required to quarantine, without exemption, even for essential reasons, until the symptomatic individual receives a negative COVID-19 test result, or an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.

Students travel to school in many ways, often by school bus, by foot or bike, or by car. If it is possible for the child to return home, they should do so immediately.

If they cannot return home (for example, they are on a school bus on the way to school), the child should immediately alert a school staff member upon arrival at school. School staff will bring your child to a designated isolation and the parent/guardian will be contacted.

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) (online tool) or Ministry of Health COVID-19 Screening Tool for Children in School and Child Care (external PDF) and have the ill individual follow the direction provided from the results of the above screening.

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.

Children are required to stay home from school or child care if anyone in their household has new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 and has been recommended for isolation and testing.

All asymptomatic household contacts of symptomatic individuals are required to quarantine, without exemption, even for essential reasons, until the symptomatic individual:

  • receives a negative COVID-19 test result;, or
  • receives an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.

If the symptomatic individual tests positive, or is not tested and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional, the symptomatic individual must isolate (including from household members) for 10 days from symptom onset. All household contacts must isolate until 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual.

If the child is unable to self-isolate safely (in a separate room, away from other family members), then an adult will have to self-isolate with the child and both of them will need to stay away from other family members within the home.

Students and children with any new or worsening symptom of COVID-19, even those with only one symptom, must stay home, without exemption, until:

  • they receive a negative COVID-19 test result;
  • they receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional; or
  • it has been 10 days since their symptom onset and they are feeling better.

Follow the direction provided from the results of the online Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening (external link) (PDF’s are available for download). Parents and caregivers can complete the tool on behalf of a student.

Families are to complete the screening tool every day of the week, including weekends, and are to reflect back to the date of symptom onset when completing the tool. If a child failed the screening tool within last 10 days, and was not tested or cleared by a medical practitioner, they must self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset as per the COVID-19 Class Order (PDF file)

The Return to School and Child Care Protocol for Individuals with COVID-19 Symptoms (PDF file) is an additional resource to provide direction on when your child can return to school after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

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