Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Ontario parents won’t be notified of COVID-19 outbreak in schools until 30 percent of students are absent

The Ontario government says parents will only be notified of a potential COVID-19 outbreak when about 30 percent of students at their school are absent.

Students in Ontario will return to in-person classes on January 17th after nearly two weeks of distance learning due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The government on Wednesday said it would prompt the principal to notify local health authorities when student absenteeism at an individual school reaches about 30 percent of its baseline.

At this point, a joint letter from the local medical officer of health and the principal will be sent to the school community.

The 30 percent limit will not automatically trigger a school to close, but a pivot to distance learning may be considered at that point.

Parents will not be notified of each COVID-19 case or risk within their child’s school.

The government said it is important to remember that not all students who are absent from school are away because they have contracted COVID-19.

All the students are getting the Rapid Test

The Ontario government also announced that it would give each student and staff member two COVID-19 rapid tests on individual learning.

The provincial government said it will distribute 3.9 million rapid tests to school boards starting Monday, first for child care and public school employees, children in child-care settings, students in public primary schools, then secondary students. Will.

Students and staff members will receive two tests to begin with and more tests will be provided when the government has supplies. An additional 1.2 million rapid tests are expected to be distributed during the week of January 24.

Those showing symptoms are being asked to undergo two COVID-19 rapid tests within a span of 24 to 48 hours. If the results of those tests are negative, students should continue to isolate until symptoms improve.

Last week, the government updated symptom screening for COVID-19 to include runny nose and sore throat. Students and staff must self-check each day before entering the school.

Meanwhile, the government also said that every school in Ontario has measures to improve ventilation.

In addition, more than 10 million N95 masks have been sent to education and child care workers, while four million three-ply masks have been sent to schools for students.

The government said that additional supplies of masks would be made on a regular basis.

When students return to school, high-contact sports and some other extra-curricular activities will be prohibited.

The government says that there will also be rules for cohabitation during lunch and breaks.

According to the government, local public health units and school boards are working to set up school-based vaccination clinics for students between the ages of five and 11.

The government said these clinics would operate before, during and after school hours to make vaccines as convenient as possible for children and families.

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