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Province won’t make COVID-19 tests mandatory for symptomatic students

Last Updated Aug 26, 2020 at 2:22 pm EDT

Provincial health officials outlined plans Wednesday on how schools should handle students who feel ill once classes resume.

Parents and staff will be asked to screen students daily for symptoms. If a child feels unwell at school they will be sent home, regardless of symptoms.

However, a COVID-19 test won’t be mandatory. Instead, students will be advised to follow up with their doctor.

Should the student take a COVID-19 test and the result comes back negative, they will still have to wait another 24 hours and be completely free of symptoms before returning to class.

Students that still feel ill will be required to isolate for 14 days with or without a positive test. They will not be allowed to return to class until they feel symptom free.

Students and parents will be informed if there is a COVID-19 positive case in a school, but the student will not be named.

If a student has had contact with a confirmed case, they will be required to get a test before returning to class. This will be the only case in which it will be mandatory for a student to get a test to return to class.

The public health unit would work with the school in the event of a positive test for a student. Should such an instance occur, the whole cohort would be required to isolate at home for 14 days.

Those in the cohort would be recommended to get tested but, again, it would not be mandatory.

Household contacts would also be required to isolate.

Watch: Chief medical officer of health on why province is not making COVID-19 tests mandatory for symptomatic students