Guidance for Parents/Caregivers and School Staff

Information for Parents & Caregivers

Screen every day before attending child care or school

Individuals should not go to child care, school, on the school bus, or attend any before or after school programs if the daily screening indicated that they should stay home (this is also called “failing the screen”). Refer to the screening tools above and the Ontario Public Health Measures and Advice page for corresponding instructions.

If you have questions related to symptoms, isolation, testing or exposure, call the Provincial Testing and Isolation Information Line at 1-888-777-0730 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

If an individual has symptoms:

  • Complete the daily screening tool and follow the guidance provided for when they can return to child care or school. (even if the results of a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test are negative)
  • Adhere to any recommendations regarding face masks, as well as the instructions for household members.
  • Seek medical advice as necessary
  • For information on testing, visit our Testing and Treatment page


Continue to wear a mask.

  • Masks remain an important layer of protection. Everyone is strongly encouraged to continue wearing a well-fitted high-quality mask in indoor settings, including school and child care.
  • Masks are not recommended for children under the age of two years.

Masks should still be worn at school or child care in the following situations:

  • If a person tests positive for COVID-19, once they are no longer advised to stay home, they should wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask in public settings for a total of 10 days after symptom onset or the date of the test (whichever came first).
  • If a person has certain symptoms of illness, they and their household members may be advised to wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask in public settings for 10 days. The Ontario School and Child Care screening tool offers guidance on this.
  • Whenever advised to wear a mask, individuals should also avoid activities where mask removal is necessary (such as dining out, high contact sports or playing instruments at school), with the exception of essential activities like eating lunch or snacks in a shared space at school/work. Individuals who are exempt from masking (e.g. children under two years of age, etc.) may return to public settings without masking.

See the Masks/Face Coverings page for further details.


Follow general public health advice.


Information for Schools, School Boards & Child Care Centres

Operational guidance:

Have a question for your school public health nurse?

Printable resources:


Additional Information

Last Updated: 03/04/2023