Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Document shows Ontario parents may not be informed about COVID-19 exposure in child’s classroom

Public school students will only be eligible for a free PCR COVID-19 test if they develop symptoms while in school, a provincial document guiding the return of in-person learning states, and the exclusion of groups of students or the risk of exposure. It’s now one thing to inform families afterward. of the past.

The Doug Ford government confirmed on Monday that in-person learning will resume in Ontario on January 17, in a seven-page document that says PCR testing should be used in schools only for those showing the most suggestive symptoms of COVID. limited”. -19 infection.

And the kits will no longer be given to children exposed to a symptomatic classmate, even if that classmate is confirmed to have COVID-19.

“The take-home PCR self-collection kit will be used only in limited circumstances. These kits are to be provided only to symptomatic primary/secondary students and education staff, who turn symptomatic in school,” the new guidance stated.

And the kits will no longer be given to children exposed to a symptomatic classmate, even if that classmate is confirmed to have COVID-19.

“PCR self-collection kits will not be provided to individuals experiencing single symptoms that require isolation only for 24-48 hours (eg, runny nose), or to the entire group/school population until symptoms improve ,” says the new guidance.

During the previous term, schools had offered PCR self-collection kits to symptomatic children, their contacts and even the entire school population, if an outbreak was declared in the school.

The new guidance also divides symptoms into two levels anyone in school with fever, trouble breathing, chills or a sudden loss of taste or smell should be able to get a test right away.

For other symptoms such as runny nose, extreme tiredness, headache or sore throat, two or more symptoms will warrant access to a PCR test.

Generally speaking, anyone with the symptoms listed above should still assume they have COVID-19, even if no tests are available.

People with symptoms should be isolated, although the length of time required for isolation varies in most circumstances depending on the vaccination status.

Not fully vaccinated should isolate people 12 years of age and older if they have had any COVID-19 for 10 days from the date of symptom onset or the date of testing positive, whichever is earlier. -19 show symptoms.

Fully vaccinated pupils 12 years of age and older must isolate for five days from symptom onset or test positive upon presentation of any COVID-19 symptoms, whichever occurred earlier. They can come out of isolation 24 hours after showing signs of improvement.

But no discrimination has been made for the purposes of segregation on the basis of vaccination status in students aged 11 years and below.

All students 11 years of age and younger can exit self-isolation after five days, provided their symptoms are improving.

As of Monday, 47 percent of children aged five to 11 years had had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 3.5 percent were fully vaccinated.

Siblings, parents and other household members should also self-isolate while the student is in isolation.

If a child tests positive for COVID-19 on an at-home rapid antigen test, his or her parent is under no obligation to inform the school or their local public health unit about the result, document stated in.

The guidance also called for surveillance testing of students using rapid antigen tests, but only “when supplies are available.”

The health ministry said last week it may have received 119 million rapid antigen tests in January, but most of them will be needed in the health care and care sectors.

Earlier guidance issued by the Ministry of Education to school boards said the province would no longer collect or publish COVID-19 infection data from schools.

The dismissal of class groups will depend on the officials of the individual school or board.

Previous guidance from the Ministry of Education suggested that classes could fall into each other in case of widespread absenteeism due to illness.

Parents should not expect notifications for positive cases identified in their child’s classroom.

“Given the widespread transmission and the inability to test all symptomatic individuals, schools will not regularly notify students/pupils with a positive case, or if any child/student or staff is absent due to symptoms associated with COVID-19, “The Guidance states.

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