Vaccinate your child as soon as they're eligible
Active screening is the best line of defence for preventing COVID-19 in schools.
"Active screening" means that schools are responsible to ensure no individuals, such as students, staff and visitors, enter the facility unless it's confirmed that they have completed the screening and the result indicates that they are allowed to enter. This is different from "passive screening", which is when individuals do their own screening and decide for themselves whether they may enter the facility or not.
The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have updated the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool to include a shortened list of symptoms that are most commonly associated with COVID-19.
Some licensed child care centres and licensed home child care programs have adapted the screening tool for their own use.
Although the symptoms in the screening tool are the most common for the COVID-19 infection, we recommend that all individuals with any symptoms of illness should stay home and get an assessment from their health care provider, if needed. It's also recommended that anyone with a symptom of COVID-19 not on the screening list, such as runny nose and sore throat, get tested.
All four school boards in Niagara provide information on confirmed cases and school closure status.
For administration or support staff only
Schools, child care centres, licensed home child care programs and children's camps are responsible for reporting suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases to Public Health.
Talk to a public health professional
With parental permission, it's highly recommended children over the age of two years wear non-medical or cloth masks indoors, including on school transportation, and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Visit COVID-19 reopening schools for mask protection measures for student and staff.
Students in Grades 1 to 12 must wear non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including in hallways, during classes and on school vehicles.
Watch Storing a Reusable Mask.
A COVID-19 outbreak in a school or child care setting, including before/after school programs and camps, may be declared when there are two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in children/ students and/or staff or other visitors, who are potentially linked to one another, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school or child care setting, including transportation.
Learn about cleaning and disinfection standards and protocols.
For Niagara-specific transportation information and guidelines, visit Niagara Student Transportation Services and your child's school board website. For updated information from the province on transportation, visit Guide to reopening Ontario's schools - transportation.
If a child is shows any symptoms of illness, they should not take public transportation or share transportation, such as carpooling.
Child care centres and licensed home child care programs are open with enhanced health and safety measures in place.
See EarlyON Child and Family Centres for the status of EarlyON Child and Family Centres during the pandemic.
All child care centres and licensed home child care programs, before and after school programs, EarlyON Child and Family Centres, and First Nation Child and Family Programs must:
All staff in child care centres and licensed home child care programs are to be trained and adhere to these enhanced health and safety requirements.
Review our Child Care Manual (Fifth Edition) for requirements that must be met in child care centres and licensed home child care programs to ensure the individuals who use them stay safe and healthy.
Previously, licensees were required to report all suspected cases of COVID-19 to the Ministry. Currently, only where a child, staff, student, home child care provider, home child care visitor or a person who is ordinarily a resident / regularly present at a home child care premises has a confirmed case of COVID-19, such as a positive COVID-19 test result or a suspect case as outlined above, licensees must:
Report COVID-19 cases or the criteria as outlined in the Operational Guidance for Child Care during COVID-19 Outbreak.
Regulatory changes to O. Reg. 137/15 have been made under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, including serious occurrence reporting of confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.
If a confirmed case of COVID-19, such as a positive COVID-19 test result or a suspect case, has been on the premises of an organized day camp you can report a positive or suspect COVID-19 case.
Students who travel
Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 are now exempt from federal quarantine if they travel in the company of someone who qualified for an exemption from quarantine based on vaccination status. However, they may not attend school or child care for 14 days after their arrival. The exception to this is that children may continue to attend school or child care if their international travel was solely due to a cross border custody arrangement.
For more information, visit COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada.