As schools in Ontario get ready to reopen this fall, many are concerned about what happens when a students or someone in their family gets infected with COVID-19.
While reopening plans have been put into place, there is fear that having kids back in classrooms will only increase the number of COVID-19 cases.
The fact that many students will be taking the TTC to school also doesn't make the situation any easier.
As a result, on Wednesday, the provincial government released a management plan that will guide schools on what to do if a student or staff member tests positive for the disease.
"Just as many schools have fire safety and emergency response plans, we have been working hand in hand with the medical experts to develop a plan that will allow schools to quickly and effectively find, isolate and contain a COVID-19 case or outbreak," said Premier Doug Ford in a press release.
Part of this plan is, first and foremost, finding out whether exposure came from inside or outside the school and then determining who the individual was in contact with.
According to the government, an outbreak can be declared at a school when two or more cases have been confirmed with a COVID-19 test and it's been made clear that at least one of the cases was acquired from within the school.
However, outbreaks do not automatically mean the school will be shut down. If an outbreak does happen, the school can take many measures including discontinuing extracurricular activities, only allowing essential visitors, and more.
I’m still scared. Kitchener has an outbreak of 88 cases all from 1 child infected at a Summer Camp. That is crazy how fast it spread. What happens for school? We need a instant test to be given before you walk in the door.— Tracy (@larkt2012) August 26, 2020
School can be dismissed completely if numerous cases occur, which would require that all school attendees be tested.
When a student or teacher at a school is infected with COVID-19, their privacy will be protected and as such the school community including parents, teachers and families will not be notified who the individual is, only that someone at the school did test positive.
Schools are expected to create and maintain a COVID-19 advisory section on their website and post when there is a confirmed case.
The full details of the COVID-19 school management plan are posted online.
by Tanja Saric via blogTO