Kanata North COVID-19 Update: Back to School

As students head back to school, I recognize this unprecedented time is stressful. As a parent myself, I am concerned to see the number of cases continuing to grow within our community, including our schoolsThis is worrisome. The best thing we can do to support schools through this time is to follow the advice from Ottawa Public Health to control the rate of transmission within our community.  

Back to School Resources and Best Practices 

Recognizing that the return to school will be more challenging than in previous years, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has shared many resources to help navigate this time. OPH is committed to: 

  • Support School Boards in their reopening plans and provide public health information and support implementing provincial standards and guidance. 
  • Facilitate knowledge exchange through various platforms with stakeholders and the school community by ensuring ongoing engagement and active listening.  
  • Provide infection prevention and control advice to schools for both in-school and transportation scenarios.  
  • Manage COVID-19 cases and outbreaks, including providing guidance to schools on confirming and controlling outbreaks.  
  • Support testing and surveillance of the school population.  
  • Provide ongoing support though a dedicated Public Health School Nurse who will be assigned to an area of schools and can assist in responding to school specific inquiries and make regular visits to the schools.  
  • Provide age-appropriate resources on COVID-19.  
  • Provide Mental Wellness Support including the development of school resources and tools on topics like resiliency, positive coping skills, and reducing stress and anxiety. Facilitate linkages to resources and community supports available for school staff, students and their families.   

Before students head back to school, OPH recommends that parents and guardians review the following as a family: 

  • Stay at home when you are sick, even when symptoms are mild. Staying home helps prevent spreading your illness to others. 
  • Ensure that personal belongings and food are not shared with students and staff.  
  • Practice ‘no touch’ greetings with your friends and teachers at school. Let’s share a wave and not our germs. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm, not your hands. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands immediately. 
  • If you don’t feel well, tell someone. 
  • Avoid touching your face. Germs can be easily spread from our hands to our mask or face. 
  • Bring your own water bottle from home. 
  • When not wearing a mask, ensure you are maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres to keep everyone safe. 
  • Ensure your immunizations are all up to date. 

You can find additional information on the reopening of schools on the Ministry of Education’s website. 

COVID Wise 

Being COVID Wise helps reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. It is important that we all do our part: 

  • W – Wear a mask 
  • I – Isolate yourself when you feel sick. 
  • S – Stay two metres away from others that are not in your social bubble. 
  • E – Exercise proper hand hygiene; wash your hands regularly or use sanitizer especially before touching your face. 

COVID-19 Screening Tool 

OPH has created a COVID-19 screening tool to help individuals make decisions about getting tested and sending your child to school or daycareThis screening tool should be completed daily before attending school/child care for each individual child separately. The survey takes about 2 minutes to complete and is subject to change as further guidance from the Ministry of Health and evidence related to COVID-19 risks become available. 

 

When to Isolate 

Residents who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing symptoms should get tested and isolate until they get their results back. All members of the household should also isolate until the test results are back to ensure they are not further spreading the virus. 

 

Where to Get Tested 

There are a few locations throughout Ottawa where you can get tested, by appointment only, including: 

  • Moodie Care Clinic: 595 Moodie Drive 
    • Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. 
  • Heron Care Clinic: 1485 Heron Road 
    • Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. 
  • Ray Friel Care Clinic: 1585 Tenth Line Road
    • Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. 
  • Brewer Assessment Centre: 151 Brewer Way 
    • Open everyday from 8:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.  
  • COVID Drive Thru Assessment Centre: 300 Coventry Road 
    • Open everyday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. 
  • CHEO Assessment Centre at Brewer Park Arena: 151 Brewer Way 
    • Open everyday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., for children from 2 months to 18 years old.
  • COVID-19 Testing at Pharmacies: Local pharmacies
    • Open to those with no symptoms. 

 

When to return to school 

Please listen to the advice from your OPH Case Manager. They will provide specific recommendations for your situation.

  • If your child has tested positive for COVID-19
    • Children can return to school if they have completed their 14 days of self-isolation, have no fever and their symptoms have been improving for at least 72 hours. 
  • If your child is ill and tests negative for COVID-19
    • Children who are ill but test negative for COVID-19 cannot return to school until at least 24 hours after the symptoms have resolved without fever-reducing medication, or 48 hours after vomiting or diarrhea have resolved. All household contacts can end self-isolation. 
  • If your child was identified as a close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19
    • If your child has no symptoms and tests negative for COVID-19, your child mustself-isolate and monitorfor symptoms for 14 days. Siblings and other members within the same household of a high-risk contact who has no symptoms awaiting test results do not need to self-isolate and may return to school/work; however, they should continue to monitor for symptoms.
    • If your child tests positive for COVID-19, all your child’s household contacts will have to self-isolate and will require close follow-up by Ottawa Public Health. Further guidance will be provided for testing, self-monitoring and self-isolation. 

Regardless of the test result, if your child is identified as a high-risk contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, your childMUSTself-isolate for 14 days. 

 

Attestation Letter 

OPH does not require a negative test result to go back to school or work.  People who have been tested positive for COVID-19 can return to work or school after 14 days of isolation, if symptoms have resolved. Local schools or employers may have instituted a policy asking for a medical certificate before individuals return to normal activities. In response to this request, OPH has developed an Attestation for Return to School for Students Following Illness letter for families with children returning to school. 

 

School Outbreak Information 

An outbreak in a school is defined when two individuals test positive for COVID-19 and have an epidemiological link. You can find outbreak information on the OPH website 

 

Mental Health Supports 

During these unprecedented times, it’s okay not to be okay. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health through the pandemic. Be patient with yourself, and know there are Mental Health Supports available: 

 

Take care Kanata North.  

Please reach out should you need anything.   

Stay safe,  

Jenna Sudds