Youth aged 12 to 17 are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Please visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments page for information on how to make an appointment. Find answers to common questions in the Parents and Caregivers section of the COVID-19 Vaccines for Ontario Youth website.
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 (online version)
- Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool (PDF version)
- Dépistage de la COVID-19 pour les écoles et les services de garde d’enfants (version en ligne)
- Dépistage de la COVID-19 pour les écoles et les services de garde d’enfants (version PDF)
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 Child with Symptoms & When to Return page for corresponding instructions.
- They are a household contact of someone who has symptoms of COVID-19. Household members who are not fully vaccinated and who live with someone who is symptomatic must self-isolate and seek testing if symptoms develop. If they are fully vaccinated or if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they are not required to stay home as long as they do not have symptoms themselves. Please see Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals and You Previously Tested Positive for COVID-19 for details.
- They have been in close contact with someone who currently has COVID-19, unless they are fully vaccinated or if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days (with some exceptions). Please see important information for high-risk contacts of COVID-19.
- 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 the Child with Symptoms & When to Return page.
- If your child is staying home, let the child care provider or school know.
- If needed, arrange a test for your child with the nearest Assessment Centre.
Provide cloth or non-medical masks for your child.
- Masks are required for students in Grades 1-12 and encouraged for Kindergarten. Masks are not recommended for children under the age of two years.
- Prepare them for how to wear a mask properly and how to take care of their mask.
- See the Mask Care Information Sheet for Students and Families (PDF) (ou Renseignements sur l’entretien du masque à l’intention des élèves et des familles (PDF)) or the Masks page.
Follow general public health advice.
- If your child is aged 12 or over, they are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Visit Vaccine Facts for information on vaccines for youth and COVID clinics for details on where to access vaccines.
- Help your child understand how to prevent COVID-19, including physical distancing and keeping hands clean, through role modeling and family discussions.
- If possible, have your child walk or bike to school instead of riding the bus.
- Send your child to school with a healthy lunch, a labeled water bottle, and remind them not to share food or drink with others.
Guidance for Boarding Homes
With COVID-19 present in our area, this school year will look different for students relocating to urban centres, such as Thunder Bay. Students, their families and their hosts may have questions about how things will work and how to stay safe in these uncertain times. This document provides information on how to create a safe and supportive environment for students during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Guidance for Boarding Homes (PDF) *updated*
- Preventing COVID-19: Tips for Children Attending School - Public Health Ontario
- Safe Return to Child Care & School - general information on the safe return to child care and school
- Frequently Asked Questions - answers to questions on symptoms, screening and what happens if there's a case of COVID-19 in a child care centre or school
- Stop the Spread of COVID-19 - information on infection prevention and control measures, such as hand washing, masks and physical distancing
- Testing, Results & Contact Tracing - information on accessing testing, what to do while waiting for a test and the result, and where to access test results
- Self-Isolation - information on self-isolation requirements for those who have symptoms, those who have been exposed to COVID-19, and those who have household members who have traveled and have symptoms
If you have questions, please call the Thunder Bay District Health Unit at (807) 625-5900 or Toll-Free at 1-888-294-6630.