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New Updates on Covid Screening

February 26, 2021
By Dr. P. Ogborne

New Updates on Covid Screening

By Dr, P. Ogborne
Three weeks in and students are back to enjoying school (as much as possible) and teachers are back into the swing of presenting their in-class curriculum with a passion.
We recently have received some additional enhanced screening protocols that the Ministry of Health would like us to pass along to our families.
First of all, thank you for all your effort in screening and practicing COVID-19 protocols that have allowed PCS to remain healthy. Our health nurse noted that we were her only school that has not at some point had any staff or students test positive for COVID-19 during school hours. That is testament to you as parents and to the goodness of our God.  But now, the Government of Ontario is asking more of us to keep this trend going.
Screening Protocols
When reviewing the PCS daily screening form, please consider the symptom descriptions (that I have placed below) as your reference for answering yes or no on the form. We are back to the one symptom requirement but that does require parental judgement. There are two observational words used. “New and Worsening.” The important information to consider from the new screening document is the phrase “new or worsening symptom of COVID-19 that is not related to any other causes or conditions they already have”.
1. If you feel the symptoms are new, and unrelated to COVID-19, keep the child home, until they are better (as per our normal procedures).
2. If you feel the symptoms are new, worsening and may be related to COVID-19, the student must continue to stay home until:
  • They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional, or
  • They receive a negative COVID-19 test result, or
  • It has been 10 days since their symptom onset, and they are feeling better.
There is also an enhanced protocol to consider when someone in your household has a case or suspected case of COVID-19 that families are asked to follow. 
Isolation Protocol
If anyone in the household has new or worsening symptoms related to COVID-19 and has been recommended for isolation and testing, they must stay home until the testing is complete. No matter who has been sent to be tested, ALL household members (parents and students) must stay home until a negative test or an alternative diagnosis has been received from a health care professional.
If the test is positive, or no test is done, then all members of the household must isolate for 14 days and the symptomatic individual must isolate for 10 days.
Simply put, if your child presents an unexplained illness then take them to the doctor as soon as possible.
Thank you for your continued diligence as we work together to keep our school environment COVID free.

Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening

Are you currently experiencing any of these symptoms?

Choose any/all that are new, worsening, and not related to other known causes or conditions you already have.

  • Fever and/or chills
    • Temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius/100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher

  • Cough or barking cough (croup)
    • Continuous, more than usual, making a whistling noise when breathing (not related to asthma, post-infectious reactive airways, or other known causes or conditions you already have)

  • Shortness of breath 
    • Out of breath, unable to breathe deeply (not related to asthma or other known causes or conditions you already have)

  • Decrease or loss of taste or smell
    • Not related to seasonal allergies, neurological disorders, or other known causes or conditions you already have

  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing
    • Painful swallowing (not related to seasonal allergies, acid reflux, or other known causes or conditions you already have)

  • Runny or stuffy/congested nose
    • Not related to seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather, or other known causes or conditions you already have

  • Headache
    • Unusual, long-lasting (not related to tension-type headaches, chronic migraines, or other known causes or conditions you already have

  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
    • Not related to irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, menstrual cramps, or other known causes or conditions you already have

  • Extreme tiredness or muscle aches
    • Unusual, fatigue, lack of energy, poor feeding in infants (not related to depression, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction, sudden injury, or other causes or conditions you already have)