For all confirmed cases of Covid-19, families and staff at the school will be notified by letter. York Region Public Health (YRPH) will investigate every confirmed case and contact any close contacts directly.
Important: A positive case at the school does not necessarily mean the individual was exposed to Covid-19 at the school. They may have been exposed somewhere else in the community.
What will YRPH do if there is a case of COVID-19 in a school setting?
- YRPH will be notified of a positive case that attended school while infectious. YRPH may be notified by the lab, a health care provider, school principal, parent/guardian or a health unit from another jurisdiction
- YRPH will verify if the case attended school while infectious and conduct an in-depth case investigation to identify contacts of the case In the school setting, contacts are likely to be:
- Students and teacher(s) in the same cohort
- Any school staff that interacted with the case’s cohort while the case was infectious
- Siblings of the case in different grades
Other contacts would also be investigated, such as household contacts, or any other place the case may have visited while infectious
- YRPH will post relevant information on the ca/covid19datadashboard.
- YRPH will also collect the following information during the investigation:
- Did the case attend before and/or after school care at the school?
- What personal protective equipment (PPE) or masks were worn by the case, students, and staff while the case was infectious?
- Where did the case acquire the infection? Any known sources outside of the school?
- What is the overall absenteeism at the school?
- If there are two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff (or other visitors) in the school with an epidemiological link, YRPH will declare the school in outbreak
- YRPH, including their infection prevention and control staff, will work directly with the school to outline all actions needed to manage the case or potential outbreak in the school
- YRPH will directly notify potential contacts of the case to advise on testing, self-isolation and/or self-monitoring. This may be in the form of a phone call or a letter to those potentially exposed
- YRPH will communicate daily with the school to monitor for any new symptomatic staff or students and advise on any additional testing and self-isolation required
- YRPH will advise when students and staff are safe to return to school
- YRPH will advise on all infection and prevention and control measures needed such as cleaning and disinfection
- YRPH will aid with communication to parents to ensure timely and accurate messaging
- YRPH will monitor the school daily until there are no new cases of COVID-19 for 14 days after the last case. When there are no new cases of COVID-19 for more than 14 days, the outbreak will be declared over.
York Region Public Health is committed to transparency and working together with schools, school boards, students and parents. In the event of a case or outbreak of COVID-19, YRPH will work alongside their community partners to ensure frequent communication is provided to anyone impacted, while maintaining the privacy of those involved.
Below link contains information on what York Region Public Health does if Covid-19 in detected in a school.
- If a staff member tests positive, he/she will inform the school and will not be permitted to return to school until he/she is free of the COVID-19 virus, including being cleared by public health or a medical practitioner.
- If a child tests positive, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to inform the school; students will not be permitted to return to school until he/she is free of the COVID-19 virus, including being cleared by public health or a medical practitioner.
- If a child or staff member has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and is waiting for the results of a COVID-19, he/she will inform the school and not be permitted to return to school until he/she until the diagnosis of COVID-19 has ruled out by health authorities.
- Children and staff who have come into contact with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 and have been directed by public health to self-quarantine, should not attend school for at least 14 days or otherwise directed by public health authorities (e.g. a confirmed negative test).
- Children and staff must not attend school if they have been otherwise directed by public health to self-quarantine (e.g. travelled outside of Canada) or a family member with whom he/she is residing has been required to quarantine or self-quarantine.
- Parents/guardians of a child who is in the same cohort as a child with a Covid-19 diagnosis will be informed of the possible exposure and should seek medical direction.
- Staff/ children with symptoms, who have not been tested for COVID-19, must be excluded from the school for 14 days after the onset of symptoms.
- Staff/ children who are being managed by York Region Public Health (e.g. confirmed cases of COVID-19, household contacts of cases) should follow instructions from public health to determine when to return to the school.
If a previously ill child or staff person has:
1) tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19
2) remained symptom-free for at least 24hours, they may return to the school (unless they have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case or symptomatic person(s), in which case, they will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the last time they had close contact with the confirmed or suspected case).
- The parent/guardian or staff member must provide a copy of the COVID-19 test result school to verify the negative result.
- If the parent answers YES to ANY of the questions in the re-entry screening form, the child will be refused entry into the school and the school will consult with York Region Public Health regarding next steps
Note: Individuals tested positive for COVID-19 require direction from York Region Public Health regarding when they can return to school.