Going to school during COVID-19
How to stay safe while attending school
Schools in Peel must follow the guidance outlined by the Ontario government for the 2021-2022 school year. Refer to the Ontario government guidance and Ministry of Education updates for more information on the health and safety measures schools must follow to protect students and the school community.
Peel Public Health recommends that all eligible children receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccinating children and youth will not only help to protect them from severe COVID-19 outcomes, but will also protect those around them, including vulnerable populations and people who cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Get details about COVID-19 vaccines for children including information on safety, where to get the vaccine, eligibility, providing consent, and how to prepare for their appointment.
Hand hygiene and other protective measures
Remind your children about the importance of hand hygiene as a protective measure. Talk to them about frequent hand washing and the safe use of hand sanitizers.
Learn more about protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.
Managing symptoms and exposures
Parents and guardians can help their children stay safe in school by keeping them home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Refer to more information for individuals who have COVID-19, have symptoms or been exposed.
If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 and needs to see a health professional, like a doctor, you can take them to a COVID, Cold and Flu Clinic.
If you have questions about your specific situation, call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700. (Caledon 905-584-2216.) Our call centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If a child or staff member develops COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive on a molecular or rapid antigen test, they should follow the instructions for individuals with COVID-19.
Staff or students with symptoms at school
If they develop COVID-19 symptoms at school, the following steps will be taken:
- They will be removed from their class or cohort.
- Parents or guardians will be notified to pick the child up as soon as possible. Siblings and any other household members will also be sent home.
- If available, a PCR take home test or rapid antigen test kit may be given to the child to take home.
Reporting and management
- Parents or guardians are not required to report a child’s COVID-19 test results to their school.
- Schools are not required to notify students or families of individuals with COVID-19 symptoms in the school. However, some schools may choose to share this information with students and families. Refer to your school or school board for more information.
- Dismissals or closures will be based on operational requirements, as determined by the school board.
Notification of high absenteeism
If it is determined that school absenteeism levels are 30% above their baseline and may be due to COVID-19, a notification letter will be sent to families and staff.
- COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Schools and Child Care: Omicron Surge
From the Ministry of Health
- Canada’s guidance for school bus operations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Requirements for school busses
Mental health supports and resources
For local programs and supports refer to:
- COVID-19 Response in Peel: Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports
- Kids Help Phone – Resources Around Me
For more information and resources refer to:
- Student Mental Health Ontario – Resource Hub
- Children Mental Health Ontario – Back to School Toolkit
- COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub
- Be There for your children
- Anxiety Canada – My Anxiety Plan for children and youth
- COVID-19 resources – including signage and translated resources for use by school administrators.
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- Close contacts – including what to do if you’ve been exposed to a person with COVID-19
- Self-isolation – including how to self-isolate
- Caring for your child if they have COVID-19 – including when hospital care is needed