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08-Oct-2020

In order to attend school students must pass the COVID-19 school screening


sick child with thermometer

The Grey Bruce Public Health Unit has released instructions on a safe return to school for students who have cold or flu symptoms.

If a child becomes sick, the provincial Return to School protocols are being supplemented by the Grey Bruce Health Unit to require that the child will be permitted to return to school if:

  1. The child had only one symptom that has resolved so the child was symptom-free for 24 hours AND he/she passed the COVID-19 school and child care screening
    The only point where there is a difference between the Grey Bruce guidelines and the provincial Return to School protocol is that the local direction in Grey and Bruce requires the symptoms must be resolved during the 24 hour observation period before the child returns to school whereas the provincial protocol allows for return to school if symptoms are improving.
  2. The child was tested for COVID-19: The child had a negative COVID-19 test after starting to feel sick AND symptoms have improved for 24 hours AND he/she passed the COVID-19 school and child care screening. There is no difference in this point between the Grey Bruce guidelines and the provincial Return to School protocol; both of them require symptoms have improved for 24.
  3. The child was NOT tested for COVID-19: The child did NOT have a COVID-19 test but completed 14 days of self-isolation from the date when the child started to feel sick AND symptoms have improved for 24 hours symptoms have improved for 24 hours AND he/she passed the COVID-19 school and child care screening. There is no difference in this point between the Grey Bruce guidelines and the provincial Return to School protocol; both of them require symptoms have improved for 24.
  4. The child was seen by a doctor or nurse practitioner during the time since being sent home from school and that another medical reason, other than COVID-19, explains why the child was feeling sick.

Siblings of the child who is not well can continue to attend school as long as they are not showing any Covid-19 symptoms and have not been informed by Public Health to remain at home due to being a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.

“The 24 hour observation period was designed to verify if a symptoms persist, so we don’t send a child for testing for one cough. However, if the symptom persisted for 24 hours, even though improving, it is still a symptom that needs to be addressed through testing or isolation." says Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health. “Allowing a child to go back with improving symptom in this context defeat the purpose of the observation period.”

 


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