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Tracking COVID in Ontario Schools

Tracking COVID in Ontario Schools

Ontario is reporting a total of 74 new COVID cases in schools across the province today. 48 of the new cases are students, 10 are staff and 16 are classified as “not identified.” The province explains this category as follows: “this type of case has not been identified as either student/child or staff/provider/partner due to privacy considerations. These “individuals” only include unidentified students/children or staff/providers/partners and not visitors or parents. These cases will be tracked as “individuals” but not included in the “student/child” or “staff/provider” columns.”

Locally, the breakdown in cases looks like this:

BoardStudentStaffUnidentified
Halton Catholic District School Board007
Halton District School Board0019
Hamilton Wentworth Catholic Board460
Hamilton Wentwoth School Board850

Currently, students and parents are urged to reinforce self-screening for symptoms of illness before the child goes to school. At school hand hygiene, physical distancing and one-way foot traffic in hallways and bathrooms are enforced. Hand sanitizer is provided at key locations throughout the school. There have been changes made in the wat students enter and exit schools to ensure social distancing, and changes as well to ther way schoolgrounds are used. The government says it has hired up to 625 new nurses in public health units to facilitate public health and preventative measures, including screening, testing, tracing and mitigation strategies.

Schools are training  students on appropriate hand hygiene and scheduling breaks for students to wash their hands.

Students in Grades 4 to 12 must wear non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including in hallways and during classes, as well as on school transportation.

Students in kindergarten to Grade 3 are encouraged, but not required, to wear non-medical or cloth masks in indoor spaces, including school transportation.

Medical masks and eye protection, such as face shields, are provided for all teachers and other school board staff. All staff in schools must wear masks, with reasonable exceptions for medical conditions.

Non-essential visitors, including parents, are not allowed in schools.

Schools must keep records of:

  • classes or cohorts
  • seating charts
  • bus cohorts
  • daily essential visitors who are approved to enter the school

Schools will provide these records to public health for contact tracing.

There are 4,828 schools in Ontario. There are currently 483 schools with  cases of COVID and  four schools have been closed.

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