Ottawa Public Health – New COVID-19 Screening Tools & Updates

Ottawa Public Health would like to inform you that the Province has made updates to screening requirements for COVID-19 for the School and Child Care Setting. As a result, The OPH COVID-19 Screening Tool for School or Child Care and the COVID-19 Screening Tool for High School Students have been updated. A more cautious approach has been adopted in response to the new variants of the COVID-19 virus that have been identified within Ontario. The new COVID-19 variants transmit more easily, therefore additional precautions are needed to prevent the spread within the community. The changes to this screening tool are as follows:

Single-Symptom Screening

Students and children with any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, even those with only one symptom, must stay home (self-isolate) until:

  • They receive a negative COVID-19 test result, their symptom(s) are improving, they have no fever, and they are feeling well enough to go to school
  • OR, if the child does not get tested, it has been 10 days since the onset of their symptom(s), symptoms are improving, they have no fever and they are feeling better.
  • They receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional.

Guidelines Regarding Travel Outside of Canada

In the last 14 days has your child been in close physical contact with someone who returned from outside of Canada? If the response is YES, a period of 14 days of self-isolation may be required. Stay home and call Ottawa Public Health 613-580-6744 for further instructions.

Requirements for Household Members of High-Risk Contacts without Symptoms

High-risk contacts are individuals who have had a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you live in the same household as someone who has been deemed a high-risk contact (has had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19) and who is without symptoms (asymptomatic), you must stay home except for essential reasons for the duration of the high-risk contact’s self-isolation period. Essential reasons include: attending work/school/childcare and essential errands such as groceries, attending medical appointments or picking up prescriptions.

Reminder for Isolation Requirements for Household Contacts of Individuals with Symptoms

ALL household contacts of individuals with new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 are required to self- isolate until the individual with symptoms receives a negative COVID-19 test result or an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.

If the individual with symptoms does not seek COVID-19 testing, they must self-isolate for 10 days from their onset of symptoms and ALL household members must self-isolate for 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual.


As a parent, you must screen your child for COVID-19 every day before attending school to keep our schools safe places to learn and grow. The COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool will help you decide if your child should or should not attend school and the next steps to take.