Students and staff should continue to use the Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool every morning before school or child care and follow the instructions given.
If your child has symptoms, has been identified as a close contact or has a family member with COVID-19 or symptoms, please follow the directions:
- in Ontario's COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool;
- at Ontario.ca/Exposed; OR,
- refer to the helpful flowcharts from the Ontario Ministry of Health on the Guidance Flowcharts page.
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 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday to Sunday.
Guidance for Parents and Caregivers
Screen your child every day before attending child care or school.
The following tools can be used to screen children:
- Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool
- Dépistage de la COVID-19 pour les écoles et les services de garde d’enfants
Your child should not go to child care, school, on the school bus, or attend any before or after school programs if any of the following apply:
- The daily screening indicated that your child must not attend child care or school for whatever reason (this is also called “failing the screen”). Refer to the screening tools above and the Ontario.ca/exposed page for corresponding instructions.
- If a student/staff is experiencing at least one symptom most commonly associated with COVID-19 or two or more symptoms less commonly associated with COVID-19, they must self-isolate as per public health guidelines. If a student/staff is experiencing only one symptom less commonly associated with COVID-19, they must stay home until their symptom(s) has been improving for 24 hours (48 hours for nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea).
- They have been advised to self-isolate by TBDHU.
- They have returned from international travel in the last 14 days and are required to self-isolate under the Federal Quarantine Act.
If your child has symptoms:
- For information on what to do when your child has symptoms and criteria for when they can return to child care or school, visit Ontario.ca/exposed.
- If your child is staying home, let the child care provider or school know.
Encourage your child wear a mask at school/child care.
- Masks are no longer mandatory for students, with some exceptions (see below); however, 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 are still required at school in the following situations:
- When following directions set out by the Federal government.
- If you are exposed to COVID-19 (or someone with symptoms), in your household or not, you're required to wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask for 10 days after exposure.
- If you tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19, you're required to wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask for a total of 10 days after symptom onset or the date of the test (whichever came first).
- In the above two scenarios, individuals must 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 in a shared space at school/work while maintaining as much distancing from others as possible. Individuals who are exempt from masking (e.g. children under two years of age, etc.) may return to public settings without masking.
- When taking public transportation (i.e. a city bus) to and from school.
- When attending school-based immunization clinics.
See the Masks/FaceCoverings page for further details.
Follow general public health advice.
- If your child is aged 5 and older, they are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Visit the Vaccine Information for Children and Youth page for information on COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth, including details on where to access immunization.
- Help your child understand how to prevent COVID-19, including physical distancing and keeping hands clean, through role modeling and family discussions.
- Send your child to school with a healthy lunch, a labeled water bottle and remind them not to share food or drink with others.
- Ontario.ca/Exposed - instructions on symptoms and when to self-isolate, testing including rapid antigen testing and close contact/exposure to COVID-19
- Ontario COVID-19 health and safety measures in schools
- Ontario COVID-19 health and safety measures for child care
- Stop the Spread of COVID-19 - information on infection prevention and control measures, such as hand washing, masks and physical distancing
- Testing & Results - information on who is eligible for testing and where to access test results
- Self-Isolation - information on how to self-isolate