Under the new provincial public health guidance, schools are not considered a “highest risk setting”, and local public health units will no longer be conducting case and contact management for COVID-19 cases within a school/classroom setting.
As such, we will not be receiving confirmation from Halton Public Health of positive cases in our school community. The new public health guidance also notes that families are not required to inform the school if their child tests positive for COVID-19 on a PCR or Rapid Antigen Test.
Although schools are no longer required to report cases of COVID-19 to their community, we have made the decision at HCDSB that when schools receive information of a positive Rapid Antigen or PCR test, they will be notifying the families and staff in the class who may have been exposed.
We will no longer be reporting cases in the COVID-19 Advisory Board, as case counts may not be indicative of actual COVID-19 cases within a school or within the system.
Schools will be required to monitor and report student and staff absences to the Ministry of Education, as well as any potential school closures. This data will be published at www.ontario.ca beginning January 24, 2022.
The Ministry of Education also requires schools to report when absenteeism rates rise to a level of approximately 30% or more above baseline to their local Public Health Unit.
If absenteeism rises 30% above baseline, a letter will be sent home to families at that school/in that classroom, and the school closure will be posted on the COVID-19 Advisory Board.