Please see information below regarding information for students, families and staff when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at an HWDSB school.
Testing for students and/or staff identified as close contacts
- Any staff or student who has been asked to isolate by the school because they may be a close contact to a COVID-19 case should book an appointment online for a COVID-19 test at www.HamiltonCovidTest.ca. If these individuals have symptoms, they should then call 905-974-9848, option 5 to inform HPHS. When a school is in outbreak, you must take the outbreak number (provided by the school administrator) with you to the testing site.
- The general school community should continue to self-monitor for symptoms and complete the daily screening tool. If a person develops symptoms, they should book an appointment online for a COVID-19 test at www.HamiltonCovidTest.ca; you do not need to call HPHS to inform them of your symptoms.
- Find symptoms on the COVID-19 school screening website. To learn more, you can also call the COVID line at 905-974-9848, option 5. You can learn more about COVID-19 restrictions and advice online at covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions.
What is an outbreak?
Hamilton Public Health Services (HPHS) will only place a school into an outbreak status when the cases meet the following definition:
According to COVID-19 Guidance: School Outbreak Management, an outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff (or other visitors) in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before/after school care).
When this happens, HWDSB works with public health officials to facilitate contact tracing and manage the outbreak. It is vital that personal health information and identifiers are not released, and the privacy of everyone involved is respected.
The school remains open and safe within the context of our enhanced public health measures. An outbreak designation does not mean the school is closed. The school continues to be a safe with the enhanced public health measures in place for staff and students to learn and work.
What is a “probable case”?
Sometimes HPHS has cases that are identified as probable cases of COVID-19. For the protection of children and to prevent spread, HWDSB will work with HPHS to take measures including the dismissal of close contacts. If public health has additional information that suggests it is safe to return, they will contact families to end their child’s isolation.
A probable case will be identified as probable on the HWDSB COVID-19 Dashboard. An update will be provided to families on the school website to indicate whether the positive case meets the criteria or not of a positive confirmed case after further investigation.
In response to a confirmed case, HWDSB follows a detailed cleaning and disinfecting protocol. Additional measures may also be taken, in consultation with Public Health. Students and staff will only be admitted into a school space once these measures are complete and when we are confident it is safe to use.
We understand that this is a concerning development and want to support you. For mental health and well-being supports, please contact your school, or explore the online HWDSB resources.
- Hamilton Public Health COVID hotline at 905-974-9848, option 5, HPHS Parent Resources, or email email@example.com
- If you feel that your child could benefit from support, HWDSB social workers are available. Please speak with staff if this would be helpful. You can also use the HWDSB Helps app.
- Learn about COVID-19 in the City of Hamilton and HWDSB school reopening precautions.
Our shared priority is the health and safety of the children and staff in our school community. As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, it will always be our intention to provide you with information that assures you of our preparedness, procedural precautions, and of our ability to provide a safe setting for both children, their families, and educators.
Please know that we remain focused on the well-being of our school community and will update you throughout the process. Contact the school if you have further questions or concerns.