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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
close up of soapy hands being washed

Infection Control in Schools

Children in schools are susceptible to infections, and a higher number of respiratory illnesses occur in school settings. You can help prevent the spread of disease in schools.

  • Ensure children in your school are immunized.
  • Encourage parents to keep ill children home until they are well enough to participate in all activities.
  • Teach children good personal hygiene, including handwashing, not sharing personal items, cutlery or drink containers, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or their elbow.
  • Properly clean and disinfect surfaces in your school.

The Infection Control Process

Reporting Communicable Diseases in Schools

According to Section 265 of the Ontario Education Act, principals are required to report to the local Medical Officer of Health:

  • any reason to suspect the existence of any communicable disease in the school
  • absenteeism rates over 15% in elementary schools (from all causes)
  • absenteeism rates over 15% in secondary schools (from all causes)

To make a report, complete the Diseases of Public Health Significance Reporting Form, or call the Communicable Disease Intake Line at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349.

For Public Health to properly investigate the report of a suspected communicable disease, the school should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • name, date of birth, address and phone number of person suspected of having a communicable disease
  • date of last day in attendance at the school
  • school bus number and bus route information (if applicable)
  • any other information Public Health deems necessary for the investigation

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Videos:

Social and Physical Environments

We encourage our school partners to put up posters that share information about how to wash hands. These materials will encourage children and youth to clean their hands in the washroom, and other hand washing stations.

Posters:

Home, School and Community Partnership

Need More Information About Infection Control in Schools?

Call the Communicable Disease Intake Line at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349, or email info@hpeph.ca.

News, Research and Reports RELATED TO: Educators, Vaccines & Immunization, Infection Prevention

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We are working to respond to community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.

Please continue to visit our website for more information about our programs and services.