Important Changes to Daily Screening Tool

Dear Lakehead Public Schools families,

The following letter from Dr. Janet DeMille holds important information regarding changes to the Ontario daily screening tool. The advice and instructions in this letter will help keep our school communities safe.

February 21, 2021

Dear Parents and Caregivers of School-Aged Children in the TBDHU:

It is vital that we work together and all do our part in keeping schools safe.  This is more important than ever before with the increasing case numbers in our area and the significant concern provincially and nationally with “Variants of Concern” (VOCs) – variants of the COVID-19 virus that have been shown to spread quickly and easily.

I want to remind you of the role you, as Parents and Caregivers, play in this.  In addition, new measures have been recently introduced provincially which build on the ones that have been in place since September.

Instructions for Parents and Caregivers:

  • Screen your child/children every day. Do NOT send your child to school if they do not pass the screen.  The screening tool is available online at  covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ and has recently been updated.  Students in Grade 9-12 must also verify once they arrive at school that they have completed the daily screen.
  • If any member of your household (child or adult) has any symptoms, even if it is one symptom, the person with symptoms AND all household members are required to isolate until:
    • The symptomatic individual receives:
      • a negative COVID-19 test result, or
      • an alternate diagnosis by a health care professional
    • If there is no test or alternate diagnosis, the symptomatic individual must isolate for 10 days from symptom onset, and all other household members must isolate for 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual.
  • If any person in your household is considered a high risk contact of someone who has COVID-19, any students in the household should NOT attend school in-person during the risk period. Work with your child’s school to determine alternative options.  (Note that this is NOT in the Ontario screening tool and must be considered separately.)
  • Please do not have your child/children interact in-person with others outside of your household, other than attending school/childcare. This is not the time for any in-person get-togethers, including birthday parties, having others over for dinner and having sleepovers. The virus spreading among children who are together outside of school can have a big impact on classes, schools and other families.

I realize these measures can be challenging and that these impose additional burden on yourselves and your household.  I do not take writing this letter and providing these instructions lightly.  I would like to thank parents, guardians, educators, school staff, and the broader community who have been practicing prevention measures over the course of the pandemic. Together we can get through these challenging times.

If you have any questions about the changes to the provincial school and child care screening tool, you can visit the Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s website at https://www.tbdhu.com/safereturn_parents  or call TBDHU at (807) 625-5900 or toll free at 1-888-294-6630.

Sincerely,

Dr. Janet DeMille, CCFP, FRCPC

Medical Officer of Health

Thunder Bay District Health Unit

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