Respiratory illness: health and safety measures in schools
Learn about health and safety measures that support safe in-person learning for students and staff at all public schools for the current school year.
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Protection from respiratory illness
Vaccination to protect against flu and COVID-19 is the best way to stay protected against severe outcomes, including hospitalization.
Free COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots are available to all eligible people aged 6 months and older at:
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health encourages you to get your COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot as soon as you can. It is safe and convenient for you to get both vaccines at the same time, so you don’t need multiple appointments.
Please speak to your child’s physician for any questions.
Self-screen for respiratory illness
We encourage students, teachers, school staff and visitors to self-screen for symptoms of respiratory illness every day before going to school.
Stay home if you are sick. Leave only if you need to seek testing or medical care.
Take the COVID-19 self-assessment for recommendations on what to do if you have symptoms of illness or tested positive for COVID-19.
We are continuing to fund costs for custodians to maintain and clean schools to support safe in-person learning for the current school year.
A standalone HEPA filter unit is required in all the following spaces:
- kindergarten classes
- learning spaces in schools without mechanical ventilation
- mechanically ventilated spaces that are not supported by MERV-13 filters
School boards must continue to:
- implement ventilation best practices
- improve ventilation infrastructure in their schools through planning and upgrades
- prioritize projects needed to meet appropriate minimum ventilation guidelines
- consult American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidance about their school facilities
- work with qualified persons as required
- communicate school-specific ventilation improvement measures on their school board website
We have deployed over 100,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices to schools.
Check your school board's website to find out about their ventilation measures.
Rapid antigen tests
Students and staff in publicly funded schools will have access to rapid antigen tests throughout the respiratory illness season while supplies last. Students and staff can contact their school if they require rapid antigen tests.