Toronto and Peel tighten the rules surrounding schools

A woman wakls into Thorncliffe Park Public School in Toronto on Monday November 30, 2020. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Health Units in Toronto and Peel are changing the rules surrounding the COVID-19 screening tool.

The way it used to work, is that when a child was showing a symptom of COVID-19, like a runny nose, they could go home for 24 hours, and return to school if it got better.

Now, health units in the two lockdown areas are suggesting if a student is showing even a mild symptom, that they head home, self-isolate for 10 days, and get a test.

If that test comes back negative, they can come back sooner than the two week quarantine.

"TPH has been closely monitoring cases of COVID-19 and outbreaks related to schools," says Toronto Public Health in a release. "Part of this monitoring has included the new COVID-19 testing pilot of asymptomatic individuals in schools. Taken together, this has confirmed that the enhancements made to the school screening tool will support the earlier identification of COVID-19 cases in school."

When a student is sent home, it doesn't mean everyone needs to be tested, just the student who is showing symptoms.

As part of the updated guidance, if a child has one or more new, or worsening COVID-19 symptoms, parents will now be required to:

•             Keep their child home.

•             Keep siblings and other children home, even if they do not have symptoms.

•             Arrange for the child to get tested or contact their healthcare provider.

•             Without testing, the child must stay at home for 10 days.

•             Monitor the family for symptoms. Adults must stay home if they have one or more symptoms.