As the Ontario government adopts a more rigorous and cautious approach to the provincial screening criteria, changes to the guidelines for the COVID-19 School and Child-Care Screening Tool were implemented Friday.
The biggest changes are that everyone in the household should stay home if anyone has COVID-19 symptoms or is waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms and they must stay home until the person with symptoms gets a negative COVID-19 test result, is cleared by public health, or is diagnosed with another illness.
This update to the COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool has been made in light of the emergence of COVID-19 variants, according to a release issued by the Renfrew County and District Health Unit Monday morning.
The COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool must be completed daily before attending school/childcare. Individuals completing the tool must follow the instructions given at the end of the assessment and arrange for COVID-19 testing as directed.
Single-symptom screening – Staff, students and children with any new or worsening symptom(s) of COVID-19, even those with only one symptom, must stay home without exemption, until:
- They receive a negative COVID-19 test result;
- They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health-care professional; or
- It has been 10 days since their symptoms started and they are feeling better.
Asymptomatic household members of symptomatic individuals must: Self isolate, do not leave home, even for essential reasons.
- All asymptomatic household contacts must also self-isolate without exception, even for essential reasons, until the symptomatic individual receives a negative COVID-19 test result or an alternative diagnosis by a health-care professional.
- If the symptomatic individual does not seek COVID-19 testing, all household contacts must also self-isolate for 14 days from their last contact with that symptomatic individual.
Asymptomatic household members of asymptomatic individuals who are deemed by public health to be high-risk contacts: Stay at home, except for essential reasons.
- If an asymptomatic individual is directed to self-isolate as a high risk contact of a positive COVID-19 case, their asymptomatic household members should stay home for 14 days except for essential reasons. In this case, attending school, child care or work is allowable for the household contacts as an essential activity, as long as everyone in the household remains asymptomatic.
It is important that parents monitor a child’s illness and keep them out of school or day care if they are sick, as they would with any other illness such as the flu. If a parent or child is sick, contact your family physician. If you do not have a family physician or cannot access your doctor, call Renfrew County Virtual Triage Assessment Centre (VTAC) at 1-844-727-6404 to schedule an appointment. Anyone who feels that they or their child seriously ill, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.
For more information, visit RCDHU’s website at https://www.rcdhu.com/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-2/ or call 613-735-8654 or 1-800-267-1097.