Coronavirus COVID-19

NEW: January 2022 Updates

 

Isolation GuidelinesIf you only have one of the following symptoms, or a different symptom (e.g., pink eye), you should isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present), and household members are not required to isolate: runny nose/nasal congestion; headache; extreme fatigue; sore throat; muscle aches/joint pain; gastrointestinal symptoms.

 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and/or tested positive for COVID-19:

You are fully vaccinated:

  • Isolate for 5 days from symptom onset and until your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present, whichever is longer in duration.
  • If asymptomatic with a positive test, the 5 days start from the date you tested positive.
  • You are partially vaccinated, unvaccinated, or immunocompromised:
  • Isolate for 10 days from symptom onset or from the date of your test (whichever came sooner)
  • If asymptomatic with a positive test, the 10 days start from the date you tested positive.
 

Isolation Due to a Household MemberAll household members of a symptomatic or positive individual, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate while the symptomatic individual is isolating.

If the symptomatic/positive person is 11 years of age or younger (regardless of their vaccination status):

  • Isolate for 5 days from the onset of symptoms and until their symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present)
  • If the symptomatic/positive person is 12 years of age or older and fully vaccinated:
  • Isolate for 5 days from the onset of symptoms and until their symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present)
  • If the symptomatic/positive person is 12 years of age or older and either partially vaccinated, unvaccinated, or immunocompromised:
  • Isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of your test (whichever came sooner)

 

Working from Home During IsolationEmployees may work from home during an isolation period upon approval from their principal or supervisor.

 

Attestation of Booster VaccinationThe Ministry of Education is requiring school boards to provide aggregate depersonalized attestation statistical information regarding booster status for all school board staff. Please note: the Ministry of Education continues to define “fully vaccinated” as having received two valid doses.

*A link to the Attestation form will be provided next week. Staff who have received their booster dose will be asked to complete the form and upload their vaccination receipt.

 

Screening Reminder

Schools are required to complete daily on-site confirmation of screening for all students and staff.

 

The COVID-19 screening tool has been updated to reflect the most current health and testing guidance and is required for all students and staff. Anyone who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or is a confirmed positive case must self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status

 

Keeping Schools Open

The Ministry of Education has directed school boards to minimize school disruption and keep schools open.

 

Public health units will no longer be asking classes to isolate due to a positive case. However, in the event of high absenteeism, classes and/or schools may need pivot to remote learning to ensure the safety of students and staff.

 

COVID Tests 

Schools will be providing two rapid antigen tests (RATs) per person. The tests are to be used only when an individual is symptomatic. 

 

If two consecutive RATs, separated by 24-48 hours, are both negative, the symptomatic individual is less likely to have COVID-19, and should isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present). 

 

Isolation RequirementsIf you or someone in your household is experiencing symptom(s) listed in the provincial screening tool, presume they have COVID-19.

All household members of a symptomatic individual, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate while the symptomatic individual is isolating due to the high rate of transmission that may occur within households.

Please note: the following is a broad overview of the isolation requirements. Please review COVID-19 Integrated Testing & Case, Contact and Outbreak Management Interim Guidance: Omicron Surge for more detailed information.

Where an individual has only one of the following symptoms, or a different symptom (e.g., pink eye), the individual should isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present), and household members are not required to isolate: runny nose/nasal congestion; headache; extreme fatigue; sore throat; muscle aches/joint pain; gastrointestinal symptoms (i.e. vomiting or diarrhea).

 

Positive COVID-19 Test (PCR, rapid molecular, or rapid antigen)

  • Ages 12+ AND fully vaccinated: isolate for at least 5 days from symptom onset AND until their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present), whichever is longer in duration.
  • Ages 12+ AND partially vaccinated or unvaccinated: isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, or from the date of their test (whichever came sooner).
  • Ages 11- (regardless of their vaccination status): isolate for at least 5 days from symptom onset AND until their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present), whichever is longer in duration.

 

Negative COVID-19 Test

  • PCR Test: stay home until their symptom(s) have been improving for 24 hours (48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present).
  • Rapid Antigen Tests: if there are two consecutive negative RATs, separated by 24-48 hours, COVID-19 is less likely. Isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present).

 

Please note: these isolation requirements are current as of January 14, 2022 and may change.

 

High-Risk Contact Clarification

Individuals only exposed at school with all public health measures in place are not generally considered high-risk contacts.

 

Where a student or staff member has been advised from a case that they may have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 at school, they should monitor for symptoms and seek testing if eligible/available. If the contact does not have symptoms, has not been advised to isolate due to an exposure to a case/symptomatic individual in the community, and continues to pass the COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening, they may continue to attend school.

 

Depending on the nature and frequency of the interactions, specific individuals could be considered a high-risk contact (e.g., close unprotected contact). All cases should notify high-risk contacts of their exposure. Again, individuals only exposed at school with all public health measures in place are not generally considered high-risk contacts.

 

School Vaccine Clinics – Parental Consent Required

School boards have been asked to add vaccine clinics during the school day as well as before and after school hours.

 

Schools will distribute consent forms to parents and work with health units to identify schools that would be good candidates for clinics, based on student vaccination rates and parent consent rates. More information about specific clinic locations and dates will be sent to families in the future.

 

Request to Change Student Mode of Learning 

The LDCSB’s virtual schools are at full capacity and are closed for new registrations.

 

Students who have medical documentation to support an exceptional circumstance which does not allow them to participate in in-person learning are to contact their home school principal. 

 

Short-term accommodations through Remote Learning Packages can be made available to students through the classroom teacher (see Short-Term At-Home Learning section). These are short-term accommodations and are designed to be temporary and to assist students from falling behind in their schoolwork. Synchronous learning opportunities will not be provided as part of these packages.

 

Short-Term At-Home Learning

Short-Term Remote Learning Packages will be made available as independent, asynchronous learning opportunities.

 

These packages are for those students who fail the self-screener due to illness and remain at home as well as for families who do not feel comfortable sending their child back to in-person learning immediately on January 17.

 

These are short-term accommodations and are designed to be temporary and to assist students from falling behind in their schoolwork. All Remote Learning Packages will be housed through the classroom VLE and contain work to be completed independently by the student. 

 

The Federal and Provincial governments have invested millions of dollars for the return to in-person learning, not to expand the remote-learning experience. The goal is to have all students return to their in-person learning environment as soon as possible.

 

Short-Term Remote Learning Packages are available for up to a maximum of 15 days, beginning January 17. Students will be marked absent from school during this time and are expected to return by February 7.

 

COVID Case Notification

COVID case notification from schools on behalf of health units will no longer occur. 

 

Given the widespread transmission and inability to test all symptomatic individuals, schools will not be routinely notifying students/pupils in classes with a positive case, or if a child/student or staff is absent due to symptoms associated with COVID-19.

 

Links to Resources

·       COVID-19 Integrated Testing & Case, Contact and Outbreak Management Interim Guidance: Omicron Surge

·       COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet: For Children (age 5-11)

·       COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet (age 12+)

·       COVID-19 Vaccine Children/ Youth (Age 5-17) Consent Form

·       COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth 

·       Ontario Launching School-based Vaccine Clinics as Students Return to In-person Learning

 

Masking 

Students in Grades K-12 are still required to wear a well fitted cloth or medical mask. The government will be providing students with expanded access to free high-quality three-ply cloth masks. The use of these specific masks is not being mandated at this time. 

 

Education staff will have the option to wear either medical/surgical masks or non-fit-tested N95 masks provided by the government. 

 

Screening 

The COVID-19 screening tool has been updated to reflect the most current health and testing guidance. Anyone who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or is a confirmed positive case must self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status. 

  

Effective January 2022, all schools are required to reinstate daily on-site confirmation of screening for all students and staff until further notice. 

 

Symptomatic Students/Staff 

If a student/staff is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms they should not attend school. Please refer to the COVID-19 school and childcare screening tool for a list of symptoms. School principals can connect with their local public health unit for further assistance. 

 

Positive PCR or Rapid Antigen Test Results 

Individuals (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) who test positive on a PCR or a Rapid Antigen Test are required to self-isolate. 

 

If they test negative on a Rapid Antigen Test, but have symptoms of COVID-19, the individual and their household are also to self-isolate following the self-isolation requirements. 

 

Self-Isolation Requirements 

If you have symptoms, assume that you are positive for COVID-19. You and your household are required to self-isolate. 

 

If you test negative on a Rapid Antigen Test, but have symptoms of COVID-19, you and your household are required to self-isolate. 

 

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but have tested positive for COVID-19 on a PCR or a Rapid Antigen Test, you and your household are required to self-isolate. 

 

Depending on your situation there are different isolation requirements. Please refer to Page 10 and 13 of the COVID-19 Integrated Testing & Case, Contact and

Outbreak Management Interim Guidance: Omicron Surge for details. A flow chart can be found at the end of the document. 

 

Isolation Requirements from our local health units.

 

High-Risk Close Contacts 

High-risk close contacts include: 

  • Anyone with whom the COVID-19 positive person came into close contact within the 48 hours prior to symptom onset if symptomatic or 48 hours prior to the test date if asymptomatic, and until the positive person started self-isolating. 
  • Close contact means you were in close proximity (less than 2 meters) to them for at least 15 minutes or for multiple short periods of time without appropriate measures as masking and use of personal protective equipment (as per Management of Cases and Contacts of COVID-19 in Ontario page 12). 

Cases are asked to notify their own close contacts. Cohort based dismissals in school will no longer be used. 

 

Reporting School-Related COVID-19 Cases 

The Ministry has suspended reporting of COVID-19 cases in schools. Cohort based dismissals

in school will no longer be used. School boards are awaiting reporting expectations of absences in schools and school closures due to COVID-19.  

 

Any individual who has symptoms/is positive must follow the current COVID-19 Case and Contact Management. Household members must also follow guidance. Isolation Requirements 

 

Vaccination Status

At this time, individuals who have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines (two doses of Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, including COVISHIELD) or one dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) are considered fully vaccinated. 

 

Elementary schools: learning for elementary students will begin January 5 but will occur remotely through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) until at least January 17 

 

Secondary schools: Quadmester 2 courses will continue on January 5 but will be delivered fully remotely through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) until at least January 17. 

 

The school day during remote learning will look very similar to the schedule students were already following before the Christmas Break. Attendance will be taken multiple times each day, so parents and guardians must continue to report absences through SchoolMessenger. 

 

During the remote learning period, learning for students will be both synchronous and asynchronous.  

   

Synchronous Learning: happens in real time with live interaction with a teacher/educator. Synchronous learning involves educators using text, video or voice communication to connect with students in real time.   

  

Asynchronous Learning: learning that is not delivered in real time. Students work at their own pace. It may involve students watching pre-recorded video lessons, completing assigned tasks, etc. 

 

How to Access Remote Learning through the VLE 

Assistance with Login Issues and with LDCSB Devices 

 

Other Programs and Facilities 

  • Before and after school programs: closed until schools reopen 
  • Daycare centres located at LDCSB schools: please check with daycare providers 
  • Alternative education programs; adult and continuing education programs: details will be communicated to students directly   
  • Co-Op Placements, OYAP, SWAC and Dual-Credit: details will be forthcoming   
  • All school buildings will be closed to students until in-person learning resumes 

 

Updates will be provided as more detailed information becomes available.  

COVID-19 Vaccination Disclosure Attestation Summary
December 3 update: Of those school board employees and trustees who have submitted an attestation, 96% of individuals have attested to being fully vaccinated. Details in Vaccination Attestation Summary file below.
 

Detailed guidelines and protocols for LDCSB students and staff regarding the 2021-22 school year are posted here (and are below). Here is a quick glance giving some of the main highlights:

 

August 31, 2021 Guidance from Local Health Units (Additional COVID-19 Preventive Measures for School Settings in London, Middlesex, Oxford, Elgin, and St. Thomas)

What’s Required

  • Masking required for all students, including those in kindergarten
  • No school assemblies
  • Elementary only: Masks required outdoors for students if physical distancing cannot be maintained between cohorts
  • Mandatory daily self-screening required for all students and staff
  • Masking and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for staff
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, including hand sanitizer in schools
  • Assigned seating on school buses
  • Elementary only: cohorting of students to reduce number of contacts
  • No visitors
  • Virtual meetings whenever possible
  • Secondary only: in-person learning five days each week
  • Secondary only: Quadmester (two courses each day)
 
What’s Allowed (recent changes or changes from last year)
  • Libraries and computer labs
  • Water bottle refilling stations will be open where possible.
  • Students may leave and return to school during the day (appointment, lunch, etc.)
  • Clubs, activities, sport teams, bands, and extra-curriculars (with restrictions)
  • Gyms, change rooms, etc. (for certain activities)
  • Music programs (with restrictions)
  • Elementary only: cubbies, outdoor playground equipment can be used
  • Elementary only: Before and After School Programs
  • Secondary only: lockers, labs and cafeterias can be used
 
What’s On Hold, At Least For Now
  • Field trips
  • Food programs (hot lunch, etc.)
 
 
Regarding Vaccination
The London District Catholic School Board believes vaccination is an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and allow students, families, and staff to safely resume normal activities. Vaccination rates may provide opportunities to reduce COVID-19 related measures and restrictions over time and allow us a return to more normal operations.

The LDCSB is not at liberty to disclose personal health care information about staff, including but not limited to an individual’s vaccination status. Regardless of vaccination status, all LDCSB staff are required to follow health and safety protocols related to COVID-19 as determined by local public health authorities, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour.
 
Regarding Ventilation
We continue to make upgrades to improve the ventilation infrastructure in our school buildings. Improvements over the past year include upgrading filters to use the highest-grade possible (MERV 13); adding filter changes throughout the school year; operating ventilation systems two hours or more before and after school occupancy; calibrating HVAC systems for maximum air flow and increased fresh air intake; and much more. For additional information, visit LDCSB.ca > About Us > Strategic Planning and Reporting > Ventilation (near the bottom of the page). Note: Microsoft Excel is required to open the file.