Many COVID Restrictions Lifting March 21, 2022
On March 9, the Province of Ontario announced the lifting of a number of COVID-19 related restrictions. As a result, things in our schools will look a little different as students return after the March Break.
We are following the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Ministry of Education in these matters, and we acknowledge some families may feel uneasy about changes to health and safety protocols. We will continue to stay in close contact with our local public health units to report on and monitor any changes in the local health situation. We will let you know if any guidance changes. We also encourage staff and students who may choose to continue to wear masks to feel welcome to do so.
Please note as well that guidelines related to travel are regulated by the Federal Government, and not necessarily impacted by provincial changes. If you are vacationing over the March Break, be sure to know what restrictions and isolation requirements are in place for travel.
Health and safety protocols remaining in place in schools
All students and staff should continue to monitor their own health daily through Ontario’s COVID-19 Screening process for schools – please see below for more information.
The Province will continue to supply us with Rapid Antigen Tests for symptomatic staff and students who may wish to use them. The Province will continue to supply masks to staff and students until June.
We will continue to support and encourage good hand hygiene in all our schools. Enhanced cleaning protocols remain in place.
We continue to monitor ventilation in our schools to ensure compliance with Ministry guidelines, and to support air quality where possible by installing additional provincially supplied HEPA filtration units.
We will continue to track staff and student absences, and report these daily to the Ministry of Education and on our website.
The Province has removed the requirement for masking as of Monday, March 21, which is the first day back from March Break. After March Break, masking will no longer be mandatory for staff or students in Grand Erie schools or on school transportation.
Please note – staff and students may choose to continue to wear masks, and we ask that everyone respect that choice. We also encourage anyone with underlying health issues to continue to wear a mask wherever possible. Staff and students may also be required to wear a mask following travel protocol.
Students or staff who are experiencing symptoms of COVD-19 should not come to school, and all students and staff should continue daily use of Ontario’s COVID-19 Screening process for schools.
There is no longer a requirement to confirm completion of this screening – either in person or through email.
There are some changes to the screening process regarding isolation requirements. Following the screening tool will help you understand any isolation requirements for your particular situation, but in general, household members of COVID-positive or symptomatic individuals do not have to self isolate if:
Household and other close contacts of positive cases will have to monitor symptoms and wear a mask in public settings and avoid activities which may require mask removal for 10 days.
Household members who do not meet the criteria above must self-isolate.
Other current protocols impacted as of Monday, March 21
As mentioned by Dr. Kieran Moore, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, these changes represent a move to “learning to live with and manage COVID-19.” We look forward to your continued support and cooperation as we continue to move in this direction together.