Admin

Winter Updates

NEW: Rapid Antigen Screening Kits for Students

Rapid antigen screening is an additional tool that we can use to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Rapid antigen screening kits have been sent home with publicly funded elementary. Please note, your child’s participation in this rapid antigen screening is voluntary.

Students are not required to participate to attend school.

Who can use a take-home rapid antigen screening kit:

Students, regardless of vaccination status, can use the rapid antigen screening if they are:

  • asymptomatic (i.e., does not have any symptoms of COVID-19)
  • and have not had any exposure/close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even mild ones, or who has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should seek a PCR test at a local assessment centre (they should not use the rapid antigen screening kit).

When to use the take-home rapid antigen screening kit:

Please follow the instructions provided in the take-home kit.

Please review the general instructional video and information sheet.

Students participating are to test:

  • At home prior to attending school or taking the bus.
  • Twice a week (at least three days between tests), over a period of five weeks. For example, students may choose to test on Monday and Thursday, Tuesday and Friday, or Wednesday and Saturday.
  • With the help of a parent or caregiver, if needed.

What to do after completing a rapid antigen test (results available within 15 minutes):

If the test is negative, and your child has passed the online daily screening tool they can go to school.

If the test is positive, your child will need a PCR test at a local assessment centre as soon as possible. Your child must self-isolate and stay home

What are rapid antigen tests and how are they different from other tests?

Rapid antigen tests are used to screen people who do not have symptoms, and who are not close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The rapid tests can give you a result in about 15 minutes and don’t require shipping to a lab.

If the result is positive it is considered a preliminary positive and further testing using a PCR test is required.

A negative result does not replace other public health measures. Your child should continue to wear a well-fitted mask, stay within their cohorts, stay home when ill, and get vaccinated when they are eligible.

A lab-based PCR test is a diagnostic test (used to confirm or rule out the virus). This test is used mostly for individuals who have symptoms, or who are a close contact of a person with COVID-19. The PCR test is considered the ‘gold standard’ of testing for COVID-19 as it can detect small amounts of the virus with a low chance of error. You can get a PCR test at an Assessment Centre.

How often should I use rapid-antigen tests?

There isn’t enough evidence around the best frequency of rapid testing; however, rapid antigen tests may be performed up to 2-3 times per week. We are recommending students in grades K-8 use them twice per week (at least three days between tests), over five weeks. For example, students may choose to test on Monday and Thursday, Tuesday and Friday, or Wednesday and Saturday.

What do it do with the rapid antigen test when I am done with it?

Throw the test materials in the garbage and wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Importance of Wearing Masks

Students are required to wear properly fitted non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including in hallways and during classes, as well as on school vehicles.

Where they can be worn safely based on the activity, masking is encouraged for engaging in physical activity.

Mayo Clinic researchers recently published a study that shows the proper use of masks reduces the spread of respiratory droplets. The findings strongly support the protective value and effectiveness of widespread mask use and maintaining physical distance in reducing the spread of COVID-19


Study Shows Masks Can Minimize Contracting COVID-19 – Watch video below:


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