Schools/Child Care and COVID-19


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Update - February 19, 2021

Additional prevention measures for schools and child care centres 

Due to the recent emergence of COVID-19 variants of concern (VOC) in Ontario, new safety measures have been added in schools and child care centres to keep students, children, and staff safe. These province-wide measures have been rolled out by the Ministry of Education.

As always, parents and guardians must screen their child each day before going to school or daycare. Grade 9-12 students must also verify that they have completed the daily screen once they arrive at school.    

The following changes are effective immediately: 

Staff, students and children with any new or worsening symptom of COVID-19, as indicated in the school and child care screening tool, even those with only one symptom, must stay home until: 

  • They receive a negative COVID-19 test result. 
  • They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional, or  
  • It has been 10 days since their symptom onset and they are feeling better. 

All asymptomatic household contacts (not experiencing symptoms) of symptomatic individuals are required to quarantine until the symptomatic household member: 

  • receives a negative COVID-19 test result, or 
  • receives an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional 

If the symptomatic individual tests positive, or is not tested and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional, the symptomatic individual must isolate (including from household members) for 10 days from symptom onset, and all household contacts must isolate until 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual. 

The provincial school and child care screening tool has been updated to provide this direction.

If you have questions, please call the Health Unit’s School Call Centre at 1-800-563-2808.  

More Information for Parents/Guardians

Parenting and COVID-19

We want children to feel safe, secure and loved so they can reach their full potential and thrive. Our COVID-19 parenting resources will support you.

Top Parenting Tips For School Life During COVID-19


For specific back-to-school transportation information and guidelines, visit and your child’s school board website.

When possible, choose walking and cycling to school. Finding an active way to school can give your child many benefits such as increased readiness to learn, decreased levels of stress and increased levels of happiness on the journey to school.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

COVID-19: Resources to Build our Children’s Resilience - Psychology Foundation of Canada includes webinars, podcasts, tip sheets, and more for parents, educators and child-caring professionals to support children and youth during COVID-19.

Talking to Your Anxious Child About COVID -19 - Children’s Mental Health Ontario

How to Work with Your School to Support Your Child’s Mental Health - School Mental Health Ontario

Back to School

COVID-19 and Back to School (Fall 2020) - The Health Unit’s return-to-school FAQ for parents/guardians 

Back to School During COVID-19: Tips for Parents and Caregivers – The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

Information for School/Child Care Administration and Staff

Outbreak Management 

COVID-19 Guidance Flow Charts

We are currently updating our COVID-19 guidance flow charts for schools and child care.

COVID-19 Guidance - Positive Student or Staff

COVID-19 Guidance - Symptomatic Students or Staff

COVID-19 Guidance - Symptomatic Students or Staff - Return to School


Helpful Links and Resources 

COVID-19 Guidance for Schools Kindergarten to Grade 12 – Government of Canada

The guidance for schools operation during the pandemic (updated) - The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Guidance for Reopening Schools – The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Teaching Tool – Handwashing and Germs – North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit

Mental Health and Wellbeing – School Mental Health Ontario

Information on face coverings

Videos: How to wear a cloth face covering and How to wear a medical mask

Parent/Guardian Handout for Symptomatic Student

Recess Position Statement

Posters and Handouts

Social Media 

Facebook/Twitter posts (Audience: Parents/Guardians)

Instagram posts (Audience: Students)


Ways to Stay Healthy and Safe at School

Masks and Face Coverings


Teaching Tools

  • Health Unit - Hand Hygiene Resource Manual (ages: 4-14) - This resource provides lesson plans, activities, and materials for teachers to use to educate students about germs, how they are spread, and how to prevent the spread of germs through proper hand hygiene.
  • School and Classroom Supports Find resources to support classroom learning and a healthy school environment on various health topics (mental health, physical activity, healthy eating, substance use, vaping, and more).

Mental Health Resources 

Physical Activity Resources

Healthy Eating Resources



North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)