COVID-19: health and safety measures at schools
Learn about the health and safety measures for all public and private schools. These rules support safe in-person learning for students and staff for remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.
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Public and private schools are open for full-time in-person learning. Remote learning continues to be an option for students and families.
For the remainder of the 2021-22 school year, schools will continue to:
- provide optional three-ply cloth masks for students and non-fit-tested N95 masks for all school staff
- encourage students on appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette (for example, washing hands or coughing into your sleeve)
- have signs to reinforce self-screening for symptoms of illness and hand hygiene
- schedule breaks for students to wash their hands
- have hand sanitizer available at key locations throughout the school
Students, teachers, school staff and visitors should self-screen for symptoms of COVID‑19 every day before going to school.
Use the COVID‑19 school and child care screening tool to assess your child or yourself for symptoms. The results will tell you:
- if you should go to school or stay home
- what to do next
Schools will continue to have enhanced cleaning practices. This includes cleaning high-touch surfaces, like eating areas, washrooms, doorknobs and desks at least twice a day.
School boards will continue to implement ventilation best practices and make upgrades to improve ventilation in all classrooms. This includes:
- increasing fresh air intake
- running ventilation systems longer and using the highest-grade filters possible (for example, MERV-13)
- increasing the frequency of filter changes
- using standalone high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units in every occupied kindergarten class and in all occupied learning spaces without mechanical ventilation, including classrooms, gyms, libraries, lunchrooms, child care spaces, administrative spaces and portables with no or poor mechanical ventilation
Schools are encouraged to support outdoor education where possible and open windows where this augments ventilation for classrooms and learning environment and it is safe to do so.
We have deployed over 73,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices to schools. We are providing additional HEPA filter units to school boards for use in mechanically ventilated learning spaces where the systems are not able to use MERV-13 filters.
Check your school board's website to find out about their ventilation measures.
Rapid antigen tests
Students learning in-person in publicly funded schools will receive rapid antigen tests from their school that they can use, if they are away due to an unplanned absence or dismissal. These tests should be conducted at home and may be used 24 to 48 hours apart as per guidance in the COVID‑19 school and child care screener.
If someone becomes ill at school
If anyone becomes ill at a school, they will:
- be immediately separated from others, in a separate room if possible, until they can go home
- be provided with a medical mask
- continue to be supervised according to the school's usual policy
- be asked to maintain physical distancing
- be unable to take school or public transportation
If your child becomes ill at school
If your child becomes ill at school, they must go home.
The school will contact you and you'll need to arrange for them to get home, in a way that does not include public transportation. We encourage you to have a plan for this ahead of time.
Check your school board website for more information.