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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:

To make a report, review the Infectious Disease Reporting for Principals Quick Guide, and complete the Diseases of Public Health Significance Reporting Form. For assistance, 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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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

HPEPH is currently offering vaccine to eligible groups. In order to keep our phone lines free for those who are currently eligible, please do NOT contact us to inquire about vaccinations unless you have been invited to participate.

Groups Currently Eligible to Book at Ontario.ca/bookvaccine:

  • Individuals turning 50 and over in 2021
  • Health care or personal support workers
  • Childcare workers (licensed & unlicensed)
  • Education workers (including special education)
  • Residents and staff in care homes and group living settings (including essential caregivers)
  • People with highest-risk health conditions and their caregivers (for example, pregnancy, organ transplant, multiple sclerosis)
  • People with high risk health conditions and their caregivers (for example, BMI of over 40, chemotherapy, Down syndrome)
  • People with at-risk health conditions (for example, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, diabetes)
  • Chronic home health care recipients
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, including members of their household
  • People who cannot work from home (Group One and Group Two)

Groups Eligible to Book at Pharmacies:

Groups Eligible to Pre-Register

For booking information for eligible individuals, please visit  hpePublicHealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines/

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN HPEPH

A province-wide Stay-at-Home order is in effect, and requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely. Please avoid close contact with anyone outside your household. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

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.