Managing Students With COVID-19 Symptoms at School – Instructions for Staff

Updated 2021/08/26

Student 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 grade mask (if not already wearing one), and goggles or face shield, and
immediately bring student 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 with a medical grade mask, if tolerated, and ensure student remains in isolation room until able to


Notify student’s emergency contact and advise regarding:

  • Symptoms student is experiencing.
  • That student needs to be picked up ASAP.
  • If siblings are not fully vaccinated (14 days or more after receiving their second COVID-19 vaccine) they are to be picked up as well. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated household members are required to stay home until the symptomatic student receives a negative COVID-19 test result or an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional. Fully vaccinated household members are not required to stay at home.
  • Public transportation must not be used (taxi is ok).
  • Advise contact to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Tool with their child and follow guidance provided.


Monitor the student 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 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’s emergency contact arrives, ensure a clear pathway to the exit and bring student to the door. Provide Back to School Confirmation Form.


Once student 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 are cleaned and disinfected.


Principals must contact the appropriate local public health unit (PHU) to report a confirmed COVID 19 individual. Schools are not required to report all ill individuals to the PHU. Schools are welcome to call the PHU if clarification is required.

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 1-800-267-7120 (press “5”)
Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario