Last updated: June 27, 2022 at 6:52 p.m.

 

Read information on what to do if you are a close contact and understanding COVID-19 symptoms in children/students. If your child is self-isolating, see Toronto Public Health’s guidance for caring for a child who is self-isolating or has COVID-19 and how to count self-isolation days if you have COVID-19 (also available in French). For information on Rapid Antigen Testing, read what to do if your child has COVID-19 symptoms (also available in French) and see Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 Testing guidance.

Screening Poster for Child Care, Day Camps and Schools

Download the Screening Poster for Child Care, Day Camps and Schools. Size 8.5 x 11 inches.

Also available in French.

Screening Questionnaire for Child Care, Day Camps and Schools

Download the Screening Questionnaire for Child Care, Day Camps and Schools. Size 8.5 x 11 inches.

Also available in French.

 

What is a Close Contact?

A close contact is defined as having contact with someone within 48 hours of them developing COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19; AND your child:

  • Was within two metres AND
  • Spent at least 15 minutes of time with them AND/OR multiple shorter lengths of time.

The Province of Ontario has stated that attending school/child care with someone who is symptomatic/positive for COVID-19 may not always be considered close contact. All cases in the school/child care settings are encouraged to notify their close contacts directly if they have significant one-on-one interactions, without wearing a well-fitted, high-quality mask. The contacts will be required to monitor their symptoms and wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings (including schools and child care unless under 2 years of age) for 10 days since their last interaction with the person who is symptomatic/tested positive for COVID-19.

Learn more about what is a close contact in the community ( also available in French).

Household Close Contact:

If someone who lives with your child has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive:

  • Your child and everyone in the household must self-isolate for the same amount of time as the person with COVID-19 unless they do not have symptoms AND any of the following apply:
    • They have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days*, have completed their isolation, and they no longer have symptoms, OR
    • They are 18+ and received their COVID-19 booster dose 3 months or more after a primary vaccine series, OR
    • They are 17 years or younger and fully vaccinated**
  • Immunocompromised household members that do not meet the self-isolation exceptions should self-isolate for 10 days after last exposure to the case/symptomatic person, even if the person with COVID-19 is only required to isolate for 5 days.
  • If self-isolation is complete after 5 days, or if self-isolation is not required, for a total of 10 days after the last exposure to the COVID-19 case, ALL household members must:
    • Monitor for symptoms for 10 days and self-isolate immediately if symptoms develop.
    • Wear a well-fitted mask in public spaces to protect others.
    • Not visit people or settings at higher risk including where there are seniors or those who are immunocompromised.
  • If someone else in the household develops symptoms, everyone in the household must extend their isolation period.
    • Initial household members(s) with symptoms who completed their isolation do not need to extend their isolation period based on other household members developing symptoms.
    • Those who: have had a COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days* and have completed their isolation; are 18+ and received their COVID-19 booster dose 3 months or more after a primary vaccine series; or are 17 years and younger and fully vaccinated**, do not have to isolate but continue to follow the masking and other preventive measures in the
      instructions above.
  • See the COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire, Page 2 for details on how long they are to
    isolate for.

Close Contact with Someone in the Community:

If your child was identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 in the community (e.g. at an indoor gathering, playdate, indoor activity) and your child does not have symptoms, they do not need to self-isolate. However, for 10 days from their last contact with the person with COVID-19 they should:

  • Monitor for symptoms for 10 days and self-isolate immediately if symptoms develop.
  • Wear a well-fitted mask in public places, including while exercising, and should not visit people or settings at higher risk.
  • Not visit people or settings at higher risk including where there are seniors or those who are immunocompromised.

Monitor Your Child for COVID-19 Symptoms Every Day:

All children should monitor daily for symptoms. The full list of symptoms includes:

  • One or more of these symptoms
    • Fever > 37.8°C and/or chills
    • Cough
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Decrease or loss of taste/smell
  • Two or more of these symptoms
    • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
    • Muscle aches/joint pain
    • Sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Headache
    • Feeling very tired

If Your Child Develops Symptoms:

  • If any symptoms develop, your child must stay home and self-isolate immediately.
  • If your child is 12 years of age and older AND fully vaccinated**, OR 11 years or younger, regardless of vaccination status:
    • They must self-isolate for at least 5 days from the day symptoms started and stay in isolation until their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if nausea/ vomiting and/or diarrhea), and they do not have a fever, whichever is longer in duration.
    • Use test date if no symptoms.
  •  If your child is 12 years of age or older AND not fully vaccinated**, OR immune compromised:
    • They must self-isolate for 10 days from the day symptoms started AND stay in isolation until their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if nausea/vomiting and/or diarrhea) and they do not have a fever, whichever is longer in duration.
    • Use test date if no symptoms.
  • Household members of the child with symptoms should follow the instructions under the heading, “Household Close Contact”.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 is presumed to have COVID-19 even if not tested.
  • Take-home PCR or Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) may be available at child care/school for children/ students who develop symptoms.
  • If the symptomatic individual’s symptoms are improving for 24 hours, never had a positive test, tests negative on a PCR test OR 2 rapid antigen tests taken 24 to 48 hours apart AND is not a close-contact, self-isolation ends.

* Confirmed COVID-19 infection within 90 days means: if tested positive within 90 days on a Rapid Antigen, or a PCR test AND completed self-isolation
then, do not need to self- isolate if someone in the home has symptoms.
**Fully vaccinated means 14 days or more after a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine series, or as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Download this information as a PDF (also available in French).

If your child has (new or worsening) symptoms of COVID-19 (1 OR more of the following: fever/chills, cough, difficulty breathing, decrease or loss of taste or smell; AND/OR 2 or more of the following: sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, headache, feeling very tired, muscle aches/joint pain, nausea/ vomiting/diarrhea) they should stay at home and self-isolate.

Testing Availability and How to Check Results

  • School-based PCR and Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) take home testing kits may be available for a child who develops symptoms.
  • If your child has access to a take home PCR kit, you can check their test results at covid-19.ontario.ca by clicking on “check your ” Results can take a few days.
  • If your child has access to a RAT kit, you can receive immediate A positive RAT does NOT need to be confirmed with a PCR test.

If Your Child Tests Negative for COVID-19 and is not a Close Contact:

  • Using a PCR test or two negative RATs, taken 24-48 hours, they may return to child care/school if it has been 24 hours since their symptoms started improving (48 hours for nausea, diarrhea and vomiting).
  • Household members who attend the child care/school setting may return right away, as long as they pass the screening questionnaire.

If Your Child Tests Positive for COVID-19:

  • They must self-isolate for:
    • 5 days: If fully vaccinated; or 11 years or younger, regardless of vaccination status.
    • 10 days: If 12 years or older and not fully vaccinated; or immune compromised or at a highest risk setting.
  • Other household members should follow the guidance under “HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS” below.

Not Tested:

  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 is presumed to have COVID-19 even if not tested.
  • If your child has not been tested and is experiencing symptom(s) they will have to self-isolate for:
    • 5 days: If fully vaccinated; or 11 years or younger, regardless of vaccination status.
    • 10 days: If 12 years or older and not fully vaccinated; or immune compromised.
  • Other household members should follow the guidance under “HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS” below.

Child is Sick for Other Reasons

  • Sometimes children are sick for other
  • If your child’s health care provider has provided an alternative diagnosis, your child may return to child care/school 24 hours after their symptoms have improved (48 hours for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Household members who attend the child care/school setting can also return.
  • If your child ONLY has one of the following: sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, headache, feeling very tired, muscle aches/joint pain, nausea/ vomiting/diarrhea, they should stay home until symptoms improve for at least 24 hours or 48 hours if nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Complete and submit a Back to Child Care/School Confirmation Form to the child care or school to confirm that the child is safe to return.

Household Members

  • Household members should self-isolate for the same amount of time as the person with symptoms AND/OR person who tested positive for COVID-19 (see the chart on page 1).
    • Household members without symptoms do not need to self-isolate if they had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within 90 days*, or they are 18+ and boosted**, or they are 17 years or younger and fully vaccinated***. They should self-monitor and continue to wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings, not visit seniors/immunocompromised individuals or highest risk settings.
  • Household members with symptoms should follow self-isolation directions for symptomatic individuals and seek testing if eligible/available.
  • Self-isolation ends if the Child/Student/Household member’s symptoms are improving for 24 hours (48 hours if nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) AND they
    • Complete the required self-isolation time OR
    • Test negative on a PCR test OR
    • Test negative on 2 rapid antigen tests taken 24 to 48 hours

*Confirmed COVID-19 infection within 90 days means: if tested positive within 90 days on a Rapid Antigen, or a PCR test AND completed self-isolation. Then, do not need to self- isolate if someone in the home has symptoms.**Boosted means received a booster dose 3 months or more after a primary vaccine series.***Fully vaccinated means 14 days or more after getting a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine series or as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Health.


Download this information as a PDF (also available in French).

Below are some examples of possible situations with information to help guide parents. For more information, please see Screening for Children/Students/Adults.

COVID-19 Testing:

  • Take-home PCR or Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) may be available at child care/school for children/students who develop symptoms.
  • Anyone with symptoms who are not tested is considered to have COVID-19 and must self-isolate immediately.

Julia is 10 years old, has symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive:

  • Julia needs to stay home and self-isolate from the day her symptoms started.
    • Since she is 11 years or younger she must self-isolate for at least 5 days and until symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (48 hours if nausea/vomiting and/or diarrhea) and she does not have a fever.
    • From days 6 to 10, Julia should wear a mask in public places, including while exercising, and should not visit higher risk settings.
  • Household members must self-isolate for the same amount of time that Julia is isolating. Household members do not need to self-isolate if they:
    • had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within 90 days** OR
    • 18+ years and boosted*** OR
    • 17 years or younger and fully vaccinated*
  • Household members must watch closely for any COVID-19 symptom. For 10 days after their last exposure to Julia, they must wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings and not visit people or settings at higher risk.

Diego is 15 years old, has a new cough and tested positive. Diego was never vaccinated:

  • Since Diego is 12 years or older and not fully vaccinated he must self-isolate for at least 10 days and until symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (48 hours if nausea/vomiting and/or diarrhea) and he does not have a fever.
  • Diego can get his first dose of the vaccine as soon as symptoms have cleared, or 2 months after the infection to get the best immune response.
  • Having a recent COVID-19 infection and being up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines provides the best protection.

Megan has symptoms of COVID-19 and tested negative:

  • If Megan tests negative on a PCR test OR 2 rapid antigen tests taken 24 to 48 hours apart AND symptoms are improving for 24 hours (48 hours if nausea/vomiting and/or diarrhea) and she does not have a fever, her isolation period can end and she can return to child care/school.
  • Megan’s household members can also return to school and work.

Bao Lee’s sister has symptoms of COVID-19, but his sister did not get tested:

  • Bao Lee’s sister will have to self-isolate based on her age and vaccination status.
  • From the day his sister’s symptoms started, Bao-Lee and his entire household must stay home and self-isolate for the same time as the sister. They do not need to isolate if:
    • had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within 90 days** OR
    • 18+ years and boosted*** OR
    • 17 years or younger and fully vaccinated*
  • For 10 days, they must wear a well-fitted mask when in public settings, monitor for symptoms and not visit people or settings at higher risk.

Abishola had symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive. Abishola and her household members self-isolated for Abishola’s complete isolation period. A few days after they completed their isolation, Abishola’s brother develops symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Abishola’s brother must self-isolate based on his age and vaccination status.
  • All household members who are well and have not developed symptoms of COVID-19 will need to self- isolate for the same amount of time that Abishola’s brother is self-isolating. They do not need to isolate if:
    • had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within 90 days** OR
    • 18+ years and boosted*** OR
    • 17 years or younger and fully vaccinated*
  • Since Abishola recently got COVID-19 she does not need to self-isolate again.

Abdul was in close contact with someone outside of his household (e.g. at an indoor gathering, playdate, indoor activity) who has COVID-19:

  • If Abdul develops symptoms of COVID-19, must self-isolate based on his age and vaccination status.
  • If Abdul does not have symptoms, he does not need to self-isolate. For 10 days after last exposure to the person with COVID-19, Abdul must wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings, self-monitor for symptoms and not visit people or settings at higher risk.

Jackson has traveled outside of Canada in the past 14 days:

*Fully vaccinated is 14 days or more after getting a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine series or as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Health.**Confirmed COVID-19 infection within 90 days means: if tested positive within 90 days on a Rapid Antigen, or a PCR test AND completed self-isolation. Then, do not need to self- isolate if someone in the home has symptoms.***Boosted means received a booster dose 3 months or more after a primary vaccine series.

Note: The day symptoms start (or test date if no symptoms) is Day 0 of the self-isolation period.


Download this information as a PDF (available in French).

Parents can complete a Back to Child Care/School Confirmation Form (fillable form) to provide to the school to confirm the child can return to school. Also available in French.

Mature minors/adult students can complete a Back to School Confirmation Form for Mature Minors/Adults (fillable form) to provide to the school principal. Also available in French.

The Province has announced that, effective March 21, 2022, masks will no longer be required for staff, students, children or any other individuals in school/child care settings.  Even in the absence of regulations requiring their use, masking continues to be an important part of our community’s response to the pandemic. Wearing a well-fitting, high quality mask is an important measure that can be used to protect ourselves and one another.

Helping Your Child Wear a Mask at School/Child Care

  • Choose a high quality mask, e.g. 3+ layers of cloth, medical mask, or respirator.
  • Make sure the mask fits comfortably and covers their nose, mouth and chin.
  • Remind them to wear a mask indoors, and outdoors when it is hard to keep a distance.
  • Plan to send at least two high-quality masks with your child each day.
  • Send a bag for clean and dirty masks. Masks should be changed when dirty or wet.
  • Remind students not to share their masks with others.

Download this information as a PDF (available in French).

How to Wear a Mask at School/Child Care

  • Choose a high quality mask, e.g. 3+ layers of cloth, medical mask, or respirator.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Make sure the mask fits over your nose, mouth and chin and is comfortable.
  • Remove your mask as soon as it gets wet or dirty. Avoid touching the outside of the mask.
  • Place the dirty cloth mask in a bag and clean your hands again. Put on a new, clean mask.
  • Do not leave the mask on your neck or forehead. Cover your nose. Do not share masks.

Download this information as a PDF (available in French).

Learn more about face masks and respirators, including qualities of a good mask.

Learn more about the school immunization program.

Read Toronto Public Health’s letters to parents/guardians in publicly funded schools:

Read Toronto Public Health’s information on Oral Health including tips on practicing good oral hygiene.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and read Toronto Public Health’s information about COVID-19 vaccines and children and COVID-19 vaccine resource list for youth (also available in French).

Learn more about the requirements for travellers entering Canada.