Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Student Screening and Testing

WCDSB School

Q1: What are the symptoms most commonly associated with COVID-19?

A: The symptoms most commonly associated with COVID-19 are listed on Page 1 of the Ontario government’s daily COVID-19 screener. Families must complete the screener each day before school:

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid19-cms-assets/2021-08/COVID_screening_Student_Child%20Care_AODA.pdf

Q2: What happens if my student/child at home answers YES to any of the COVID-19 symptoms outlined in Part 1 of the daily COVID-19 screener?

A: If a student/child at home answers YES to any of the COVID-19 symptoms outlined in the daily COVID-19 screener they must isolate (stay home) and not leave except to get tested or for a medical emergency.

Siblings or other people in the household must also stay at home until the student/child showing symptoms tests negative, is cleared by Region of Waterloo Public Health, or is diagnosed with another illness.

Household members who are fully vaccinated or previously positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and have since been cleared, are not required to stay home.

Q3: What happens if my symptomatic student/child tests positive on their COVID-19 PCR test?

If the symptomatic student/child tests positive on their COVID-19 PCR test, you will be contacted directly by Region of Waterloo Public Health and advised on next steps.

Q4: What happens if my symptomatic student/child tests negative on their COVID-19 PCR test?

A: If the symptomatic student/child tests negative — or has a known alternative diagnosis provided by a health care provider, and there is no known high-risk exposure, and they were not advised by Region of Waterloo Public Health or a health care provider to quarantine or isolate — the individual can return to school if they no longer have a fever and symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours.

If symptoms compatible with COVID-19 are persisting/worsening, the symptomatic individual is to continue to stay home from school and seek medical attention. A repeat COVID-19 test should be considered.

Q5: What happens if I don’t want my symptomatic child to take a COVID-19 PCR test?

A: If the symptomatic student/child is not tested/does not seek testing — and there is no known alternative diagnosis — the individual must isolate for 10 days from symptom onset.

Additionally, household contacts of the symptomatic individual must also isolate for 10 days from break in contact (i.e., last contact) from the symptomatic individual — unless they are fully immunized or have been previously positive for COVID-19.

If there is no break in contact, this isolation period would start at the end of the symptomatic individual’s isolation period.

Q6: What happens if my student/child falls ill with a COVID-19 symptom while at school?

A: Any student/child who falls ill with a symptom of COVID-19 while at school should be picked up and taken home as soon as possible.

Any asymptomatic siblings of the symptomatic student/child are allowed to remain at school for the remainder of that day, if the parent / guardian so chooses. **

The symptomatic student/child should get tested (via a PCR test, not a rapid antigen test) as soon as possible, and isolate while test results are pending or not available — unless there is a known alternative diagnosis provided by a health care provider.

Household contacts of the symptomatic individual (e.g., siblings, parents, roommates and other individuals who live with the symptomatic individual) who are not fully immunized, or who have previously tested positive for COVID-19, are to isolate.

** NOTE: Please refer to Question #2 for instructions on how to proceed on the morning following an early dismissal of a student/child from school due to COVID-19 symptoms.

Q7: My family will be traveling outside Canada. Will my student/child have to quarantine when we return?

A: All travelers entering Canada from foreign destinations must follow the Government of Canada’s mandatory quarantine / isolation protocols available via this link: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/isolation

Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 are exempt from federal quarantine if they travelled in the company of someone who qualified for an exemption from quarantine based on vaccination status. HOWEVER — they may not attend school or child care for 14 days upon their return.

Individuals with all other quarantine exemptions (e.g., travelling for cross-border custody arrangements; travelling for medical treatment) may continue to attend school or child care.