Students across Canada from kindergarten to Grade 12 have been back to in-person classes for a few weeks now. However, it does not mean that everything returned to normal, as some schools are reporting virus outbreaks among staff and students. Each province has a different definition for “outbreak” but they all released plans to limit the spread.
They outlined how public health officials will help schools manage outbreaks on a case-by-case basis. A pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Dr. Jesse Papenburg said “There need to be school-by-school decisions that are made based on the information that is available.” She explains that the timing of cases, the age affected, and the location of exposure are all factors to be considered when making a plan.
In Ontario, if public health officials identify an outbreak, they will provide guidance to the school affected. They may suggest whether self-isolation or full or partial dismissal of students is necessary based on the severity of the outbreak. They could recommend restricting outside visitors from entering the school, minimizing student and staff movement between classes, and more.
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