School During COVID-19: Information for Parents and Students

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) continues to work with local school boards on their COVID-19 plans and protocols and will continue to support them in putting these in action.

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 1 and up.
  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.
    • Where a confirmed case of COVID-19 is a potential source of exposure to others in a school setting, the EOHU acts accordingly to notify those at risk of exposure. There may be variations in the delivery of notifications from case to case depending on the circumstances of the case in question. Where there is no risk of exposure, notification is not required.

Tools for Parents

  • COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool:
    • You must screen your child for COVID-19 every day before going to school. You can use the online screening tool or download the paper version.
      • NEW! At this time, ALL household members of a high-risk contact that is asymptomatic must also stay home, except for essential reasons.
      • NEW! If someone in your household is experiencing any symptom of COVID-19, ALL household members must also self-isolate until this person receives a negative test result or an alternative diagnosis from a health care provider confirming the symptoms are not related to COVID-19.
    • NOTE: It is important to use the right assessment tool since some symptoms that are not considered typical of COVID-19 in children and youth are in fact symptoms of COVID-19 in adults. If you are an adult who needs to complete a screening for COVID-19, find the appropriate screening tool for your setting here. Individuals can also use the COVID-19 Self-assessment Tool to get a recommendation on what to do next if they were exposed to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) or have symptoms.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: School During COVID-19
    • Find answers to commonly asked questions about going to school during COVID-19. Please visit this page regularly, as it will continue to be updated with the latest information.
  • Return to School Protocols during COVID-19
    • Find out when your child can go back to school or child care after being sick or having COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Back to School/ Child Care Confirmation Form
    • While the local Health Units are not recommending or requiring medical notes for return to school/child care, parents can complete this form to attest their child is safe to return to school.
  • Mental Health During COVID-19
    • This is a list of services and resources to help you and your loved ones get through this time.

Letters from Dr. Paul Roumeliotis

Re-Opening School Plans

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

More information

COVID-19 Information for Schools and School Boards
COVID-19 Teaching Tools for Educators
Re-opening schools (Ministry of Education)

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