Staying Safe at School
Students/attendees, staff and visitors must continue to complete the provincial COVID-19 school and child care screening tool every day before attending school or child care settings. Symptomatic individuals and their household members should follow the instructions on the screening tool for isolation requirements; parents must not send children to school or child care if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
York Region Public Health strongly encourages the use of masks by students/attendees, staff and visitors in crowded settings, during close contact with others and when spaces may be confined.
What to do if you test positive for COVID-19, have symptoms or an exposure?
If you test positive on a rapid antigen test (RAT), you do not need a confirmatory PCR test to confirm you are positive. You may complete our Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) survey if you have tested positive with a rapid antigen test.
Household members and close contacts of a positive/presumed positive case should visit ontario.ca/exposed for guidance on self-isolation Close contacts who are not required to isolate must self-monitor for 10 days (from last exposure) and wear a well-fitted mask in school and child care settings. This includes avoiding activities such as high-contact sports and playing wind instruments where masking and/or physical distancing cannot be maintained.
If travelling you are encouraged to check for information on current travel restrictions and measures into and out of Canada at york.ca/publichealthsafetymeasures
Guidance for school and child care settings
For up-to-date guidance for school settings, visit Government of Ontario websites:
For up-to-date guidance for child care settings visit these Government of Ontario websites:
Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses. We continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.
If your child has not received a COVID-19 vaccination, there are many convenient clinic locations throughout York Region.
Visit york.ca/COVID19Vaccine for locations and details or call Access York at 1-877-464-9675 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For additional information on vaccines, including and links to other resources visit york.ca/COVID19Vaccine
How York Region is supporting schools, child care, camps and day programs during the COVID-19 pandemic
York Region Public Health works with schools, school boards, child care operators and camps to make these settings as safe as possible, addressing the risk of COVID-19 transmission while reducing other harms to the well-being of students, families and staff.
York Region Public Health's role includes:
- Supporting schools, school boards, child care centres, day programs and camps with their COVID-19 safety plans and providing public health information and support implementing provincial standards and guidance
- Facilitating knowledge exchange with the school, child care, day program and camp communities
- Providing infection prevention and control advice to schools, child care centres and day programs for both in-school and transportation settings
Please note York Region Public Health does not action reports of COVID-19 cases at schools, child care settings, camps or day programs and no longer processes COVID-19 dismissals at schools, child care centres, camps and day programs.
Reporting absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and reportable diseases
Following provincial guidance, when school absenteeism surpasses 30% (above baseline absenteeism typical for a setting) school administrators are required and child care operators are expected to notify York Region Public Health through the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) survey. For instructions on how to report increased absenteeism, please read reporting form instructions.
Reporting COVID-19 Cases at School and Child Care
Private school administrators and child care operators may choose to report individual cases of COVID-19 in the event they are made aware of them through the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) survey; however, York Region Public Health will not be following up on these reports.
Publicly funded school administrators may use the form letter provided by their Board to inform York Region of COVID-19 in your school.
Non-COVID Reportable Diseases (e.g., enteric diseases)
If you suspect there is an enteric outbreak at your child care setting, please notify York Region Public Health, Infectious Diseases Control Division Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73588. After hours, including weekends and holidays: 905-953-6478. A Public Health Guide for Child Care Operators reviews the process for outbreak management in a child care setting as enteric outbreaks may still occur.
If you are concerned about a non-COVID-19 respiratory outbreak at your child care setting with hospitalizations and/or deaths, please notify York Region Public Health, Infectious Diseases Control Division Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73588. After hours, including weekends and holidays: 905-953-6478.
If you suspect there is an enteric outbreak at your school, please notify York Region Public Health, Infectious Diseases Control Division Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73588. After hours, including weekends and holidays: 905-953-6478.
Resources for school / child care operators
York Region Public Health does not endorse the requirement of medical notes for a child to return to the setting after illness. As an alternative option, administrators/operators can request a parent/guardian complete this attestation form before children return to the setting. The setting is responsible for developing an appropriate policy if they choose to utilize this form when children return after an absence.
Provincial Reporting of Absenteeism
Child-friendly resources for educators and parents
- Common COVID-19 Symptoms | French
- Cover your cough or sneeze | French
- Don’t Get Germs: Wash Your Hands | French
- Hooray for handwashing | French
- Kids – How to put on and take off face mask | French
- Kids - How to Hand Sanitize | French
- Masks protect you and me | French
- Physical Distancing Means
- When to wash your hands
- You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 | French
- Video - Handwashing for kids
York Region Public Health
- All COVID-19 Resources
- COVID-19 Guidance on Cleaning and Disinfection in Schools
- Return to School / Child Care Form — Parent Attestation Following Child Illness or Absence | Le retour à l’école/le service de garde — Attestation pour parents à la suite d’une maladie ou absence de l’enfant
- COVID-19 and Children’s Mental Health
- How to put on a facemask | Masks and young children
- Lower Your Risk of COVID-19 | French
- A Public Health Guide for Child Care Providers
- COVID-19 Presentation for Early Learning and Child Care Professionals Sept 2021
- Children's COVID-19 Vaccines: Webinar for Parents and Guardians February 22, 2022
- Letter for schools/child care to parents and guardians of a child with symptoms of COVID-19
York Region School Boards
Government of Ontario
- What to do if you've been exposed to COVID-19
- COVID-19 Integrated Testing and Case, Contact and Outbreak Management Interim Guidance: Omicron Surge
- COVID-19 Support for people
- COVID-19 Preparedness and Prevention in Schools Checklist
- Back-to-School Mental Health Kit
- Reopening Schools
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Youth – Ministry of Health Fact Sheet – English
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Youth – Ministry of Health Fact Sheet – French
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Youth – Ministry of Health Poster – English
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Youth – Ministry of Health Poster – French