As we move into Phase 2 of reopening the province, please find a few public health updates.
Role of Public Health in School Re-opening
On June 19, 2020, the Ontario government released its safety plan and approach for the resumption of classes for the 2020-21 school year. As you know, school boards have been asked to prepare a plan for the upcoming school year by August 4. The scenarios include a normal school day, a modified school day with 15 students, and at home learning.
In its release, the government also said it would be requesting guidance from public health or public health units by early August to confirm the type of delivery appropriate for the beginning of the school year. We have clarified with the Ministry of Education that it will be the Ministry of Health, not local public health, who will provide this guidance to the Ministry of Education in late August. The Ministry of Education will then provide guidance to school boards in late August.
For our part, Halton Region Public Health will provide support to schools in implementing appropriate infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures and with developing protocols for managing any probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases in students or staff.
Immunization Clinics for Grade 7 Students
We are working on organizing catch-up immunization clinics for grade 7 students. Because of school closures, grade 7 students missed their third round of school-based immunizations in the 2019-2020 school year. We are planning a phased approach and will offer catch-up clinics during the months of July and August. We recognize that we may only be able to offer these clinics to a limited number of grade 7 students and are continuing to work to find ways for more students to receive the vaccines. Additional information will follow in the coming weeks. At this time, families may also contact their family physicians to receive the vaccines.
Oral Health Screening in Schools
We are developing plans for a catch-up process for schools that missed Oral Health Screening due to school closures. Plans are also being developed for screening in the new school year. More information will be available in the weeks to come.
New Resources Posted
For your information, here is a link to a video that touches on the gradual reopening, social circles and staying safe in the heat that you may choose to share with staff and parents.
Up-to-date information on COVID-19, including information for parents and a new reopening page, is available on our website at Halton.ca/COVID19.