Updated COVID-19 Case Reporting in Schools
Due to widespread transmission of the Omicron variant and changes to the provincial testing approach, the Ministry of Education announced that it would be suspending reporting of COVID-19 cases in schools.
To support ongoing monitoring and transparency at the school level, HWDSB is committed to making affected classes and cohorts aware of positive COVID-19 test results reported to the school. Parents/guardians should notify the school if their child tests positive for COVID-19 on either a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
How the Updated Case Reporting Process Works:
- Families inform the school if their child/ren receive a positive COVID-19 result from a PCR Test or RAT.
- Principals will communicate to the affected classes and cohorts, through the school website, when a positive test result has been self-reported by a staff member or a parent/guardian. As always, personal information will not be shared.
- This communication will be shared with families to help inform their decision making when sending their child/ren to school.
- The Ministry of Health is no longer using cohort-based dismissals in non-high-risk settings like schools as a strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Students and staff in a school setting are generally no longer considered high-risk contacts requiring isolation. Individuals who do not have symptoms, have not been advised to isolate, and have passed the daily screening may continue to attend school and child care.
- Parents/guardians of students who are not able to return to school after possible exposure to COVID-19 can contact their child’s educator for options to learn at home.
- While individual classes will continue to be provided with COVID-19 case information, the Board COVID-19 Dashboard page will no longer be updated. Rather, this page will be repurposed to track school closure information.
This new reporting process will take effect Monday, January 24, 2022.
HWDSB will continue to work closely with Hamilton Public Health Services to ensure that all health and safety measures are in place in our schools. Students and staff are reminded to follow all public health protocols, including masking, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and to screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms on the provincial COVID-19 school screening website.
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