September 1, 2020

Update to protocols in the event of COVID-19 case in Peel schools

​Dear Peel District School Board families,​

The health and safety of students is a responsibility that we take very seriously at the Peel District School Board, especially as we reopen schools with COVID-19 still a reality in Ontario communities. Last week, the Ministry of Education released guidance procedures for schools in the event a student or staff member attends school with COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive for the virus. By preparing for these possibilities, we will be ready to act effectively and quickly to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our schools safe.

Based on these provincial guidelines, we have updated our Enhanced Health and Safety Measures webpage with a revised School Outbreak Management Protocol. On this website, you'll also find information about other health and safety procedures, including screening/self-assessment, physical distancing, masks/face coverings, eating and drinking at school, enhanced cleaning protocols, and arrival/dismissal routines.

As parents/caregivers, it is understandable that you'd want to know if there has been a positive case of COVID-19 identified at your child's school. To help keep families informed, we will post alerts on our board and school webpages to indicate the number of current confirmed positive cases at each school. It is important to understand that the number of cases in each school does not reveal the location where the virus was first contacted by individuals. In fact, the site of transmission may be in another neighbourhood.

A letter will also be provided to families and staff as soon as we are made aware of a confirmed positive case at a school, including notice of any closures of classes, cohorts or the entire school. In the interest of privacy, this information will not identify the student or staff member who has received a positive COVID-19 test.

These procedures have been developed with guidance from Peel Public Health, a critical partner in the safe reopening of schools. Tonight, Peel Public Health's Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Monica Hau will share a presentation at our Regular Meeting of the Board, which will include an overview of the provincial school outbreak guidelines. Families can tune into the board meeting live at 7:30 p.m. by clicking on this link: https://livestream.com/accounts/1280884/sept1. A recording of the board meeting will also be posted on our website tomorrow at noon.

We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our schools safe. To do this, we need your help. As parents/caregivers, you can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by screening your child each day for COVID-19 symptoms, and keeping them home if they are sick. When in doubt, families should take extra care and keep their child home from school. A safe school is always more important than a perfect attendance record.

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lived experiences of students, families and staff members in different and significant ways. Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we navigate this new landscape, together.

For more information about the upcoming school year, www.peelschools.org/reopening.

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