COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures and Practices
Over the past 30 months, TDSB staff have been diligent in following the health and safety directions provided by the Ministry of Education and Toronto Public Health to manage COVID-19 and keep our schools and sites as safe as possible. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Education released its guidance for the new school year. They have stated that schools will begin the year in the same way that we ended last year, with only the most necessary COVID-19 measures in place. We continue to take our health and safety direction from the Ministry and Toronto Public Health and it is important to note that this is the current information and can change based on a change of guidance.
Screening – Students and staff should continue to do a daily self-assessment before entering school or Board buildings and stay home if they are sick. We are awaiting an updated screening tool from the Ministry and will share as soon as it is available.
Masks – The TDSB continues to be a mask-friendly environment inclusive of all staff and students. While the Ministry of Education and public health officials are not mandating the use of masks, Toronto Public Health strongly recommends wearing a well-fitting, high quality mask, especially in indoor public settings. The TDSB will continue to provide medical masks for staff and students who request them. Non fit-tested N95 masks will also continue to be provided to staff who request them, while fitted N95 masks will be provided to those who require them as part of their role.
Testing – Rapid Antigen Test kits will continue to be available to both staff and students and are to be provided to staff/students upon their request and/or upon return from an unplanned absence. As rapid antigen tests are readily available in other public settings, it is not the expectation that all students/staff in a school are provided tests proactively.
Vaccines – The TDSB will continue to work closely with Toronto Public Health to support their vaccination efforts for COVID-19 and other illnesses. School-based clinics may continue to operate to support local communities and you will be contacted if a clinic is to take place at your school.
Cohorting – Cohorting classes is no longer required for health and safety reasons.
Ventilation – More than 16,000 institutional-grade HEPA filters are in the TDSB with at least one in every occupied classroom. Caretakers will continue to increase ventilation in schools and classrooms with mechanical systems by adjusting the air exchanges and running them before and after class as well as increase natural ventilation by opening windows for short periods of time.
Enhanced Cleaning – Caretaking staff will continue to perform routine cleaning of general facilities throughout the day and enhanced cleaning of high touch surfaces such as light switches, handrails, door handles, etc.