Main Page Content

If a child becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms while at school/child care, the administration will follow guidelines to ensure that the child is separated from others and cared for. A parent or caregiver should pick them up as soon as possible.

  1. Self-isolate immediately. Follow the guidance for individuals with symptoms.
  2. If they are eligible, or have access to a rapid test, get tested.
    • If the rapid test is negative and they are still showing symptoms, a second rapid test should be completed in 24-48 hours.
  3. Notify close contacts that your child has symptoms
  4. Follow the school/childcare screening tool results for returning to school/childcare.

The Government of Canada website provide information on how to care for a child who needs to self-isolate, which may include a child who has tested positive, has symptoms of COVID-19, or a household member of someone with COVID-19.

For medical or health advice, contact your health care provider or Health Connect Ontario toll-free at 8-1-1.

If a child is having difficulty breathing or develops severe symptoms, call 9-1-1.

  • When calling an ambulance, tell the dispatcher that the child has/may have COVID-19. If a child is going to the hospital in a private vehicle, call ahead and let the hospital know they have/may have COVID-19.

For information about testing and quarantining after international travel visit the Government of Canada website.


  • PCR testing is available only to individuals who meet specific criteria outlined by the Ministry of Health.
  • The Ministry of Education has provided publicly funded schools and licensed child care centres with rapid antigen test kits for symptomatic students, children, and staff. Students and staff will receive a rapid antigen test kit proactively, for at-home use if they develop symptoms.
  • Parents/guardians can choose if their child participates in this additional testing option. If participating, testing is to be completed at home.
    • If a symptomatic individual (staff or student) chooses not to participate in this testing option, they would be presumed positive and would be required to isolate and follow the updated guidance.

No. A positive Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is highly indicative that the individual has COVID-19 and does not need to be confirmed with a PCR test.

If you have access to PCR or RAT testing and test positive, please follow the guidance for Individuals Who Have Tested Positive.

Instructions for how to use a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) are provided with the test itself; however, the following instructional videos provide clear visual demonstrations on how to perform a RAT.

Visit the links below for further direction related to the specific test you are using:

Fact Sheets in Other Languages: 

For fact sheets in other languages visit the Ministry of Health website.


  • If the first rapid antigen test (RAT) is negative, complete a second test within 24-48 hours of the first test.
    • If two consecutive RATs, separated by 24-48 hours, are both negative, the symptomatic individual is less likely to have COVID-19 infection. The individual should isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present).
  • If symptoms persist / worsen, individuals are encouraged to seek advice from Health Connect Ontario or a health care provider

If you have access to PCR or Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) and your child has tested positive, they must self-isolate. Depending on vaccination status, household members may also be required to self-isolate.  Follow public health guidance for details on how long to isolate and additional precautions to be taken.

If you do not have access to testing and your child has symptoms, assume that they may have the virus and have them self-isolate. Please follow the guidance for Individuals Who Have Symptoms.

The below definitions are referenced in the COVID-19 School/Childcare Screening. It is important to follow the guidance provided based on the result of your screening.

  • Fully vaccinated: Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days or more after getting a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine series. You are also considered to be fully vaccinated if you have received:
    • One or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada at least 14 days ago, or
    • Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada with the final dose received at least 14 days ago.
  • Symptoms: The online COVID-19 School/Childcare Screening lists ten symptoms to screen for each day. The symptoms are: fever/chills, cough, difficulty breathing, decrease or loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, headache, feeling very tired, muscle aches/joint pain, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.
  • Positive for COVID-19: For the purposes of daily screening, an individual is considered to be positive for COVID-19 if they have:
    • Received a positive Rapid Antigen or PCR test result; OR
    • Any of the following symptoms of COVID-19: fever/chills, cough, difficulty breathing, decrease or loss of taste or smell; OR
    • Two or more of the following symptoms: sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, headache, feeling very tired, muscle aches/joint pain, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.

Vaccine Information for Children, Youth and Caregivers

Information, booking, and ways to ease anxiety about getting a vaccine.

Safety Guidance

It is always important to continue to follow public health advice:

  1. Monitor for symptoms daily using the school and childcare screening tool.
  2. Wash your hands and high-touch surfaces regularly.
  3. Follow the guidelines for our region to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  4. Wearing a mask/face covering and maintaining 2 metres of physical distancing in public are strongly recommended.

Masking tips for children that are sensitive to touch:

  • Use a soft fabric mask
  • Find a mask that ties around the head, or use a clip to tie the ear loops behind the head

Do's & Don'ts of Masking Poster

Other Helpful Resources

Related Content: 
Last modified: 
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 2:46pm