(Updated) As children seem to show few symptoms or are asymptomatic: how will the spread of COVID-19 be kept under control with an obligatory return to school? We are concerned that students will spread COVID-19 to parents, who will go to work asymptomatic and spread it even further to people who could suffer serious consequences. Seeing the spread of the virus amongst young people has been high over the summer, will the government rethink some of its strategies? Will children need to stay at home if they have a cold that could possibly be COVID-19?
Students and staff will be responsible for the validation of their health on a daily basis. Parents will have to be responsible to validate the health of their children on a daily basis and to communicate any symptoms to the school.
Students or staff members with COVID-19 symptoms will not enter the school. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will have to comply with a 14-day isolation period.
Administrators will receive training on how to react to any potential case of COVID-19 before the start of classes
Parents will have to keep their children at home if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, difficulty breathing, coughing) until they can confirm that it is not COVID-19 related. If students and staff respect the social and physical distancing rules as well as practicing frequent hand washing and proper respiration etiquette, the risk should be low. Parents and schools are jointly responsible to raise awareness when it comes to proper hygiene.
Based on past experience, albeit on a smaller scale, we had no reported cases of COVID-19 in our emergency daycares and in the schools that we reopened in the spring. On a positive note, the reopening of the Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton Schools with the most vulnerable students was a success a positive experience for the students who returned.
Furthermore, sanitation measures are being implemented in schools, as per Santé Publique recommendations. The Material Resources department will be responsible to ensure that regular and appropriate maintenance will take place.
Cleaning will be conducted by our trained staff and in accordance with disinfecting guidelines; washrooms will be disinfected at intervals depending on the frequency of use, and frequently touched surfaces will be disinfected (doorknobs, faucets, toilets, computers and pencils/pens).
At this time, we are not aware whether the Ministry of Education will reconsider their plans nor whether they will enforce any new directives for the start of the school year.