A KFL&A Public Health update released today, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, aims to help parents, guardians and school staff address COVID-19 screening requirements at local schools.
The Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, Limestone District School Board, and KFL&A Public Health have shared updated COVID-19 screening protocols with school communities, to support safe and healthy school environments in our region. According to Public Health, this update is in response to the new online school screening tool that was launched by the province on September 14, 2020.
KFL&A Public Health has collaborated with the school board administration to develop school board protocols that will assist school staff and parents and guardians on how to address COVID-19 situations at the school:
- My student did not pass COVID-19 screening
- School protocols for staff and students who develop symptoms of COVID-19
- Return to school protocols for staff and students with COVID-19 symptoms
- School protocol when staff or students test positive for COVID-19
Key updates in the school protocols include:
- Asymptomatic housemates or siblings of symptomatic students or staff do not need to go for testing and may continue to attend school while monitoring for symptoms as long as the symptomatic individual is seeking testing or waiting for test results.
- Students and staff who have received a negative COVID-19 test result may return to school 24 hours after symptoms have started to improve.
- Requirements for 14 days of isolation for students and staff who choose not to be tested, as well as siblings and housemates, unless all of the following apply:
- a health care provider has diagnosed the student or staff with another illness, AND
- the student or staff does not have a fever (without using medication), AND
- it has been at least 24 hours since symptoms started.
Translation of the above-mentioned documents is underway to ensure they are as accessible as possible for all residents in the KFL&A region.
KFL&A Public Health strongly recommends that an individual with any COVID-19 symptom, and no known alternative diagnosis, should be tested for COVID-19. It is important to note that the diagnosis of another infection does not exclude the possibility of also being infected with COVID-19. Being tested will reduce the risk of unknowingly spreading COVID-19.
According to the update, we all have a role to play to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and all residents are asked to do their part to keep everyone, especially those who are at greater risk of illness, safe and healthy. Following public health guidelines both in and out of school will help keep everyone in our community safe.
Families and caregivers are asked to remain diligent about screening their children daily before school and to encourage their children when at school to let an adult know if they are feeling unwell.
For additional information on the return to school, please visit www.kflaph.ca/COVID19Schools.