Staying Safe at School and Child Care
York Region Public Health works with schools, school boards, child care operators and camps to make these settings as safe as possible, promoting the well-being of students, families and staff and addressing the risk of disease transmission.
York Region Public Health's role includes:
- Supporting schools, school boards, child care settings, day programs and camps with COVID-19 and other infectious disease prevention planning
- Providing public health information and supporting the implementation of provincial standards and guidance
- Facilitating knowledge exchange with school, child care, day program and camp communities
- Providing infection prevention and control advice to schools, child care settings 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 settings, camps or day programs.
For any questions regarding COVID-19 in schools and child care settings, please contact our School Services Intake line at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 76681 or email @email
For issues or reports of any Diseases of Public Health Significance, respiratory or enteric cases and potential and ongoing outbreaks (non-COVID), please contact Control of Infectious Disease team at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73588 or email @email
For other public-health-related inquiries, please contact Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or email @email
Health and safety measures
For up-to-date guidance for school and child care settings, visit these Government of Ontario web pages:
Students/attendees, staff and visitors should continue to complete and follow the instructions in the provincial 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 should not send children to school or child care if they show any signs of being ill.
York Region Public Health strongly recommends students/attendees, staff and visitors wear a mask in schools, child care settings and while on school and child care transportation, including children two to five years of age if they can tolerate a mask. This recommendation aligns with provincial guidance that Ontario residents mask in all indoor public settings, with a strong emphasis on school and child care settings. Masks are proven to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. We encourage all schools and child care settings to be a mask-friendly space.
Please refer to the Symptoms, Transmission, Treatment and Testing page for information on masking while you or someone in your household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- School and Child Care Screening posters
- Mask-Friendly Environment | 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
- When to wash your hands
- You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 | French
- Video - Handwashing for kids
Testing positive, experiencing symptoms or being exposed to COVID-19
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 should 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.
Reporting absenteeism and COVID-19 cases
School administrators and child care operators may use the Reporting High Absenteeism survey to notify York Region Public Health if an administrator/operator is concerned about increased absenteeism. For detailed instructions on how to report increased absenteeism, please read our Reporting Form Instructions for Child Care Operators Reporting COVID-19 cases and Increased Absenteeism.
Reporting COVID-19 Cases at School and Child Care
Publicly-funded and 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 Reporting High Absenteeism survey; however, York Region Public Health will not be following up on these reports.
- Letter for schools/child care to parents and guardians of a child with symptoms of COVID-19
- Managing Symptomatic Individuals and Increased Absenteeism in Schools
- Managing Symptomatic Individuals and Increased Absenteeism in Child Care Settings
- Information for Parents to Help Prevent the Spread of Illness | French
Non-COVID-19 reportable diseases
For a complete list of diseases of public health significance (reportable diseases), please visit Infectious Diseases and Outbreak Management.
If you are concerned about a non-COVID-19 respiratory outbreak or suspect there is an enteric (gastro-intestinal) outbreak at your child care setting, please notify York Region Public Health, Infectious Diseases Control Division at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73588 Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. After hours, including weekends and holidays, please call 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 suspect there is an enteric outbreak at your school, please notify York Region Public Health, Infectious Diseases Control Division at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73588 Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. After hours, including weekends and holidays, please call 905-953-6478.
COVID-19 vaccines are now available to everyone six months of age and older. Beginning about two weeks after the first dose, all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 infection, particularly serious illness to yourself and to other vulnerable populations. Vaccination helps the immune system protect against disease and is one of our most effective lines of defense as other measures are removed.
It’s important to get vaccinated and stay up to date. Up to date means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. The Ministry of Health Staying Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines: Recommended Doses guide provides more information, including a helpful table showing when to receive each dose by age group.
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 the COVID-19 vaccine, visit york.ca/covid19vaccineinfo
York Region Public Health also reminds all families to ensure they catch up on any missed routine vaccines and remain up to date on routine immunizations. Please visit york.ca/Immunizations to book routine and missed immunizations.
York Region School Boards
- York Region District School Board
- York Catholic District School Board
- Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir
- Conseil scolaire Viamonde
Government of Ontario
- What to do if you've been exposed to COVID-19
- Management of Cases and Contacts of COVID-19 in Ontario
- COVID-19 Support for people