Friday, March 11, 2022
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Further to our letter of Wednesday, March 9, please find below an update to COVID-19 health and safety measures. All changes below are effective March 21, 2022.
Masks will no longer be required for students, staff, visitors and spectators in schools, school board offices and on student transportation. Eye protection for staff will also no longer be required. Some students and staff may choose to continue wearing masks and eye protection.
Anyone returning from international travel must wear a mask at all times when in public spaces (including school and childcare) and maintain a list of all close contacts for the first 14 days in Canada. Individuals must also monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
Cohorting and distancing will no longer be required in schools. Assigned seats and cohorting will no longer be required in student transportation.
Elementary students can play and learn together across cohorts, classes and grades, indoors and outdoors, and during lunch and recess. Shared spaces such as libraries, tech labs, theatres and music rooms can be fully utilized without distancing.
Limitations on in-person gatherings and assemblies will also be removed; therefore, schools can plan and host in-person events (e.g., proms, graduation ceremonies, and assemblies).
Daily on-site confirmation of screening for all students and staff will no longer be required. Staff and students should continue to self-screen every day before attending school using the COVID-19 school and childcare screening tool.
The board will continue to use rapid antigen tests (RATs) to support symptomatic testing only for staff, students and children. Schools are expected to continue distributing RATs to staff and students who return from an unplanned absence.
NNDSB will be modifying its contact management guidance:
- Asymptomatic individuals who are close contacts of a case or a symptomatic individual in the community are no longer required to isolate but must self-monitor for 10 days following 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 also 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 COVID19 in the last 90 days and have completed their isolation period. Asymptomatic household contacts who are not required to isolate are also required to self-monitor for 10 days following last exposure, as outlined above. Children under five who are asymptomatic household contacts are required to isolate for five days. The COVID-19 school and childcare screening tool has been updated to align with the recent changes made to federal travel requirements.
NNDSB follows the direction of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and the public health unit when devising COVID-19 plans.
Near North District School Board