As the second province-wide COVID-19 lockdown continues, students, staff and administrators are getting ready to head back to the classroom tomorrow.
Dr. Kit Young Hoon, Medical Officer of Health at the Northwestern Health Unit, says while schools are generally a setting with low transmission rates, the risk isn’t zero and everyone in the school community should practice good public health measures to reduce the spread.
“With the increasing rates in the area, the increased risk can impact schools,” said Dr. Young Hoon.
Residents are encouraged to continue to use their school's self-assessment tool before sending their kids to class or heading to work at a school.
“I urge parents to use the daily school screening tool each morning to keep their schools safe and open.”
Dr. Young Hoon added that if at any point in the 10-days leading up to the return to class, if you would’ve failed your school’s screening tool you should self-isolate and get tested.
Ontario says that targeted testing done among students and staff in December, 2020 confirmed that schools are not a significant source of COVID-19 transmission.
However, with students having been at home for several weeks and with reports of concerning behaviour over the holidays, the positivity rate among school-aged children has increased sharply.
They add that most troubling, the positivity rate for kids aged 12-13 years old increased from 5.44 per cent in late November and early December, to nearly 20 per cent in early January.