Ontario releases new guidance for COVID-19 screening at schools
The Ontario government has updated its school screening guidance to help parents, caretakers and families better determine when to get a COVID-19 test.
The screening guidance is being updated with two sets of questions to help guardians make informed decisions about whether their children should attend school or child care, whether they need to consult a health care provider or get tested for COVID-19.
"Ensuring that children can attend school with minimal interruption is an important part of their healthy growth and development," said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health in a news release.
The first set of questions added will ask about symptoms such as fever or cough. Students and children with any of these symptoms will be advised to stay home until they are able to consult with a health care provider and either receive a different diagnosis or a negative test.
The second set of questions asks about other symptoms that are commonly associated with other illnesses, such as a runny nose or headache. Students and children with these symptoms will be advised to stay home for 24 hours and to return once their symptoms subside.
If they have two or more of these symptoms they will be advised to consult with a doctor and either receive a diagnosis or a negative test.
“Our focus continues to be on limiting the spread within our schools by listening to and acting upon the best available medical advice, which includes ensuring all layers of prevention are in place to keep kids safe,” said Education minister Stephen Lecce.
Since schools have reopened in September, the Toronto District School Board has reported 69 schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, 55 of which are cases among students and 27 are among staff.
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