The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is outlining what will happen if a person has COVID-19 in school.

The health unit says Public Health will contact all the families of youth, as well as teachers and others who might have had close contact (less than two metres) with an individual with COVID-19. Public Health has required any close contacts to stay at home for 14 days and will be informed about testing requirements. The school will activate infection control procedures like cleaning and disinfection of the classroom and any other affected areas of the school, according to the health unit.  Parents will be notified that someone has tested positive for COVID-19 in their child care centre or school.

An outbreak is considered two or more cases linked from within the school. The health unit says if there is an outbreak Public Health will determine if classes are cancelled or closing the school is necessary through investigation. Statuses of cases and outbreaks will be posted on the health units website.

Doctor Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for the health unit says timely and transparent communication with families and the school community is important to them.

“Providing specific guidance to parents if there is a case in a child care centre or school can help respond to people’s concerns.”

The health unit reminds that child care and school communities will be kept informed through information on the website, but public health has an obligation to protect the privacy of any person who is suspected and confirmed to have COVID-19.

Stewart says they ask people to be kind and resist the temptation to speculate about absences or share rumours about possible cases, especially on social media.

The health unit says symptoms of COVID-19 may look like a cold: sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, headache or other symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in schools in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.