Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario

Managing Students With COVID-19 Symptoms at School/Child Care Centres – Instructions for Staff

Updated 2022/03/11

Student/Child presents with new or worsening symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (refer to symptom list in the COVID-19 School Screening Tool)


Perform hand hygiene, put on medical/surgical mask or a non-fit-tested N95 mask (if not already wearing one), and goggles or face shield, and immediately bring student/child to isolation room.

Gown and gloves are advised if bodily fluids are involved. Refer to Recommended Steps for Putting On and Taking Off PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)


Provide student/child with a medical grade mask if tolerated (children under 4 are not required to wear mask but it is strongly recommended if tolerated), and ensure student/child remains in isolation room until able to leave.


Notify student/child’s emergency contact and advise regarding:

  • Symptoms student/child is experiencing.
  • That the student/child needs to be picked up ASAP. Siblings may also need to be picked up.
  • Public transportation must not be used (taxi is ok).


Monitor the student/child until they are picked up.

Maintain at least a 2m distance (if possible). Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette should be practiced while the ill individual is waiting to be picked up.

If student/child must use washroom, ensure it is vacant before use and that it is not used by others until it is cleaned and disinfected.


When student/child’s emergency contact arrives, ensure a clear pathway to the exit and bring student to the door. Provide the flow chart “You have symptoms and are concerned you may have COVID-19. Now what?” and the factsheet “How to Self-Isolate”.


Once student/child has departed, remove PPE in the isolation room and seal in a bag for disposal.

Perform hand hygiene and put on a new medical mask.

Refer to Recommended Steps for Putting On and Taking Off PPE.


Ensure that the isolation room and all items used by symptomatic student/child are cleaned and disinfected.


Schools and child care centres are not required to contact their local health unit (PHU) to report a positive COVID-19 test result (PCR or Rapid Antigen). Schools and child care centres are welcome to call the PHU if clarification is required.

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 1-800-267-7120
Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario