Select a frequently asked question below to read the answer.
Grand Erie is applying mandated and recommended health and safety strategies:
To protect privacy, Grand Erie will not be disclosing the vaccination status of any of its staff. The Ontario government has recently announced their intention to introduce vaccine disclosure for all staff in schools, with rapid antigen testing requirements for staff who are not immunized against COVID-19. This disclosure will be an aggregate number, and will be publicly available on Grand Erie’s COVID-19 page.
Please complete Ontario's COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool to determine next steps.
If your child is waiting for direction from their health care provider and/or waiting for COVID-19 test results, they need to isolate. Members living in the same household as the sick child also need to self-isolate.
If a positive case is determined during school hours, the school will contact all families from that case’s cohort to request a pick-up from school and to recommend isolation. Local public health units will provide instruction and information to those affected and will be responsible for contact tracing. Any student or staff member determined to be a close contact of a confirmed case will be contacted by the appropriate health unit to inform them of their exposure and outline next steps. If you, or your child, is not contacted by the appropriate health unit, they have not been considered a close contact. If a positive case is determined after school hours, the local public health units will be the primary contact, providing instruction and information on next steps. Grand Erie works closely with both the Brant County Health Unit and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. If there is a positive case in Grand Erie, the board will follow the direction provided by these medical experts.
A close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case is an individual who has been within six feet for more than 15 minutes with a positive person during their contagious period (in the period from two days before symptom onset until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation), or has tested positive for COVID-19, but has not had any symptoms (in the two days before the date of specimen collection until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation).
If your child has been identified as a close contact to a confirmed case of COVID-19, you will be contacted by the local health unit (Brant County or Haldimand-Norfolk). The local health unit will outline next steps, which may include instructions to seek testing.
The Ministry of Health mandates public health units to be in contact with known close contacts within 24-48 hours of being made aware of them. The local health unit may not be aware of all close contacts at the time Grand Erie families receive the initial notice from the school about a COVID-19 case. The local health unit needs time to conduct their investigation. This investigation includes gathering all known close contacts to the initial case.
The local health unit will determine the extent of all students/staff exposures, based on activities within the classroom/cohorts as well as the broader school (i.e., transportation, child care and before/after school programs). This assessment and management is based on the provincial School Outbreak Management Guidance from the Ministry of Health.
If your child has been identified as a close contact to a confirmed case, you will be contacted by the appropriate local health unit. The health unit will outline next steps, which may include instructions to seek testing.
If you have not been contacted by your local public health unit, your child has not been identified as a close contact of the individual who has tested positive, and therefore testing is not required. If despite this, you remain concerned about your child’s exposure, you are free to seek assessment from your healthcare provider.
Logs and seating plans for student transportation services are kept to assist health units in contact tracing. Any student or staff member determined to be a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case will be contacted by the appropriate health unit to inform them of their exposure and outline next steps. This close contact determination includes the time of transportation to and from school. For students below 18 years of age, a parent or guardian will be contacted in place of the student.
Grand Erie follows prescribed and thorough cleaning protocols. All high-touch areas of the school and classrooms are attended to multiple times each day and the school is thoroughly cleaned each night. Authorized products that kill the COVID-19 virus are utilized and are an effective method of sanitizing.
Any student or staff member testing positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by the local public health unit from the jurisdiction in which they reside. The public health unit will direct the individual on their isolation period. When the public health unit has deemed the case resolved the individual will be able to return to school.
No additional testing is required following the isolation period.
Local health units do not need to provide written or verbal clearance for an affected student or staff member to return to school after they have satisfied the above requirements.
This is dependent on each individual situation:
Negative with low risk or no exposure
Negative with high risk exposure
Not tested and no alternate diagnosis
Grand Erie District School Board and the local public health units have a duty, under the Personal Health Information and Protection Act, to protect the privacy of patients, including those who have COVID-19.
While the identities of those with COVID-19 can not be disclosed, any student or staff member identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case will be contacted by the appropriate local health unit to inform them of their exposure and outline next steps.
For students below 18 years of age, a parent or guardian will be contacted in place of the student.
Please complete Ontario's COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool to determine next steps.
*If your child is waiting for direction from their health care provider and/or waiting for COVID-19 test results, they need to isolate.
Members living in the same household who are fully vaccinated (it's been at least 14 days since their second COVID-19 vaccine) do not need to isolate unless they too are experiencing symptoms.
Members living in the same household who are not fully vaccinated (they are not vaccinated, have only had 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or it's been less than 14 days since their second COVID-19 vaccine) need to isolate while waiting for the child's test results. If your child does not get tested, everyone in the household needs to self-isolate for 10 days.
School staff do not have access to vaccination records and will not make a determination regarding any student’s immunization status.
The entire household must isolate (stay home) except for a medical emergency
They can return only after the person gets a negative COVID-19 test result, or is cleared by their local public health unit, or is diagnosed with another illness.
If you believe your child does not have COVID-19, but is experiencing allergies, a common cold, flu, etc., consult with their health care provider for further assessment. Your child’s health care provider may send your child for COVID-19 testing or provide an alternative diagnosis.
Medical notes or proof of negative tests are not required for students to return to school.
Household contacts of the symptomatic individual (e.g., siblings, parents, roommates and other individuals who live with the symptomatic individual) who are not fully immunized or previously positive are to isolate
COVID-19 shares some of the same symptoms as a cold, flu or seasonal allergies. As a result, students and staff will need to be vigilant and watch for common COVID-19 symptoms. If they experience these symptoms, particularly if they are new or worsening symptoms, they should consult with their health care provider before attending school.
Students and staff are required to monitor their symptoms daily and not attend school when they are feeling ill. Everyone within the school community has an important role to play in ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all.
Contact your local COVID-19 assessment centre to arrange for testing:
Your child needs to isolate while waiting for direction from their health care provider and/or while waiting for test results.
Family members must also isolate until results are obtained if the child is or was experiencing symptoms.
If your child has been tested for COVID-19, you can see your results online here.
Please use a walk-in clinic or call Telehealth Ontario: Toll-free: 1-866-797-0000 or Toll-free TTY: 1-866-797-0007.
Grand Erie maintains a COVID-19 information page with up-to-date record keeping, information and updates. Grand Erie will also issue a media release in the event of an outbreak.
Additionally, the Brant County Health Unit and the Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit will also provide daily updates on their respective sites for school outbreak statistics.
Our public health units define an outbreak as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases with an epidemiological link occurring in students or staff (or other visitors) in a school, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).
GEDSB works closely with local public health units, following their direction on a coordinated response to outbreaks and messaging. We will communicate any outbreak through public messaging from GEDSB. If your family is impacted by any cases, you will be contacted by your local public health unit. This messaging will let you know how you should respond.
If your child received a COVID-19 vaccination in the last 48 hours and are experiencing mild headache, fatigue, and muscle aches/joint pain that only began after vaccination, then they can select “No” under that symptom on the screening tool, and therefore they will pass and are allowed to come to school/daycare.
If you have received a COVID-19 vaccination in the last 48 hours and you have mild headache, fatigue, muscle aches and/or joint pain that only began after immunization, and no other symptoms, you must wear a properly fitted mask for the entire time at school/child care. You may take the mask off to quickly eat or drink. You must stay at least two metres away from others while it is off. If your symptoms worsen, continue past 48 hours, or if you develop other symptoms: you should leave school/child care immediately to self-isolate and get a COVID-19 test.
If you child experienced a mild headache, fatigue, or muscle aches/joint pain initially after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination BUT the symptoms worsen, or continue past 48 hours, or if you develop other symptoms, DO NOT go to school/daycare, your child must self-isolate and seek COVID-19 testing.
Local health units will provide health guidance and direction to those affected and will be responsible for contact tracing. A component of their process includes confirming the vaccination status of those determined to be a close contact. While vaccination status may impact how long any student or staff member is required to stay away from school, you must wait for direction from your local public health unit.
Secondary school students are permitted to leave school grounds during lunch time. Elementary students may be picked up from school at lunch time by their parent or guardian.
The COVID-19 screening process for school or child care identifies recent return from international travel as a trigger to isolate – and in this case, not go to school.
If you child is fully immunized against COVID-19 (two weeks past the second dose) and has none of the symptoms listed in the COVID-19 screening process, then your child does not need to isolate, and may come to school.
If your child is not fully immunized, then you need to follow the guidance in the screening process and isolate.
Staffing and class organizations for the 2021-22 school year have been completed for both In-person and Online Learning based on parent/guardian declarations submitted by June 1, 2021. Please contact your home school principal with any questions about switching learning models.