COVID-19 cases creeping up
With back to school and another jump in local cases of COVID-19, Simcoe Muskoka’s Medical Officer of Health said he remains concerned.
Dr. Charles Gardner is urging people to screen for symptoms before going to school, or work.
“What’s really key for parents right now is to screen your children each day before they go to school to make sure that they don’t have any symptoms or signs of COVID-19, and if they do develop any symptoms that they are to be excluded from school,” said Gardner. “Even if you have one symptom, that’s enough to stay home.”
Health guidelines state that students and staff cannot attend school if they have even one new symptom of COVID-19 that lasts more than a few hours. This does not apply to known symptoms related to seasonal allergies.
He said if a student does develop symptoms, parents would then need to seek medical advice on how to proceed. A child that has had a COVID-19 test because of symptoms, but has tested negative, may return to school when they have been free of symptoms for at least 24 hours, provided they haven’t come in contact with someone who is confirmed to be an active case.
“In those instances, they stay off for a full 14 days in order to make sure they’re not transmissible with COVID-19, even if they have a negative test. It’s a precautionary measure to protect the school environment,” said Gardner.
As cases continue to increase, even before students and teachers were back in class.
“I think it’s important that people be mindful of who’s vulnerable now that children are heading to school – that’s another opportunity for transmission,” said Gardner.
He said to avoid a second wave, it is more important than ever for people to adhere to public health guidelines by wearing a mask, physical distancing and hand washing.
There is a screening tool online at covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment.
The case count for Simcoe Muskoka is at 738, with 31 of those classified as active.