Returning to School During COVID-19: Information for Parents and Students

On July 30, 2020,  the Government of Ontario announced their plan for re-opening schools this September. Details of the plan to re-open schools are shared on the Ministry of Education’s website.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) continues to work with local school boards on their re-opening plans and will continue to support them in putting these plans in action.

In light of the decision that parents will make to send their school-aged child/youth to school, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical officer of Health for the EOHU, and Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU), have written a joint letter to parents with considerations for returning to school this September.

A letter was also shared with parents about what they can do to help keep students safe, and how public health and schools will manage any possible cases of COVID-19 at school.

Key messages from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit:

  1. Many children/youth will benefit from being in school in-person. It is good for their education, for their wellbeing, and for their growth and development.
  2. Parents and caregivers must be aware of the possible symptoms of COVID-19 and must learn how to assess their children for symptoms to permit safe attendance at school each day – to protect themselves, other children and staff.
  3. Further, precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at school will be in place, such as cohorting (keeping groups together), increasing hand washing and hand hygiene practices, increasing the frequency of cleaning , and requiring the use of a mask (face coverings) for staff and students in grades 4 and up. Older students are more likely to be able to use masks effectively.
  4. The EOHU will be responsible for completing all contact tracing and follow up with any student or school staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on your child’s school board’s return-to-school plan, please visit their website:

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis has also written a letter to St. Lawrence College students reminding them of local public health measures and requesting their cooperation and adherence to these guidelines as the new school year begins.

More information

COVID-19 Information for Schools and School Boards
COVID-19 Teaching Tools for Educators

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