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Changes to School Practices after March Break
Changes to School Practices after March Break
Posted on 03/10/2022
Director Update for March Break

Dear UCDSB Parents and Guardians,

As you are likely aware, the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health recently announced the lifting of many health mandates that are currently in place in our community and schools. Before we head into March Break, I want to ensure all our families know when these changes take effect and how they will impact our students.

Isolation requirements
The following updated isolation requirements for those who are close contacts to someone with COVID-19 or have symptoms go into effect immediately:

  • Asymptomatic individuals who are a close contact of a case or a symptomatic individual are no longer required to isolate, but must self-monitor for 10 days following their last exposure. During the self-monitoring period, close contacts must wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings and avoid activities where they need to take off their mask (for example, playing a wind instrument in music class or playing high-contact sports).

  • Asymptomatic household contacts of a case or a symptomatic individual are not required to isolate if they are 17 or younger and fully vaccinated; 18 and older and have already received their COVID-19 booster; or tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and have completed their isolation period. Asymptomatic household contacts who are not required to isolate need to self-monitor for 10 days following their last exposure, in the same manner as outlined above.

  • Children under 5 who are asymptomatic household contacts are required to isolate for five days.

Full details regarding isolation requirements can be found on the provincial website.

Masking, Cohorting and Distancing
As of March 21, UCDSB students and staff will no longer be required to wear masks while at school or on school transportation. However, some people may choose to continue to wear masks and we ask that students and families show kindness, and respect the individual decisions of others. Please note: those travelling outside of Canada will be required to wear a mask in public spaces, including schools, for 14 days after their return to Canada. Other travel requirements can be found here.

Restrictions on cohorting and physical distancing within schools are also being lifted as of March 21. Many of our schools have established recess times and daily schedules around cohorting, and lessons or activities with physical distancing in mind. As we return from the break, schools will examine these practices and see where changes can be made that fit the natural flow of the school day.

Confirmation of Daily Screening
When we return from March Break, students will no longer need to provide confirmation that they have been screened or self-screened for COVID-19 symptoms. However, we do ask that everyone still do daily assessments and use the provincial screening tool when necessary. Please keep students at home when they are unwell, even if the symptoms that they are displaying are not known symptoms of COVID-19.

Maintaining Healthy Schools
We will continue to remind and reinforce with students the importance of regular hand washing and cough/sneeze etiquette. We will also continue to have hand sanitizer on site for the remainder of the school year. We will continue to provide symptomatic students and students who are away after an unplanned absence with rapid antigen tests, should families want them.

Living alongside COVID-19 is going to be our reality, at least for a while yet. I sincerely appreciate how our families have responded to the public health measures and have been understanding of the way in which these measures have changed school routines.

Thank you for your support. Have a wonderful March Break!

Ron Ferguson
Director of Education
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