What happens when there is a positive case of COVID-19 at school?

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, we will follow Ottawa Public Health’s direction. The Province recently released guidance for managing COVID-19 in schools.

Here’s what parents need to know:

Check your child for symptoms daily

Please use Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Screening Tool for Students every day before sending your child to school. If your child shows any symptoms of COVID-19, they cannot go to school and must stay home.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 (PDF) include:

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater)
  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • New olfactory or taste disorder(s)
  • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Runny nose, or nasal congestion (in the absence of underlying reasons for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies, postnasal drip, etc.)

If a student or staff member is sick at school

If someone shows symptoms of COVID-19 at school, we will follow Ottawa Public Health’s advice and immediately bring them to an isolation room/area and call their emergency contact to pick them up. If your child or a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they will need to isolate at home for 14 days. While your child is self-isolating at home, they can do work provided in Hapara to learn along with their classmates.

If someone at your child’s school shows symptoms of COVID-19

If someone at your child’s school shows any symptoms of COVID-19 without a pre-existing medical condition, they need to stay home. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) will decide if or when a child needs to get tested. They also determine if or when an individual, class, cohort or school needs to isolate or close due to COVID-19. 

In general, if someone in your child’s class or school tests positive for COVID-19, OPH will provide direction on the next steps. Each “what if” scenario can be quite complex, so we will trust and follow the direction provided by OPH. If the test comes back negative, the class would not need to isolate. The person would be allowed to return to school 24 hours after they no longer showed any symptoms of COVID-19.

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