As part of its updated public health measures and guidance, the Ministry of Education announced that effective January 3, 2022, it would be suspending reporting of COVID-19 cases in schools. Given the widespread transmission of Omicron and changes to the provincial testing approach, schools and child care centres are no longer required to notify families of positive COVID-19 cases.
Although schools are not required to report COVID-19 cases, to support ongoing monitoring and transparency, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board will continue to provide class-level reporting of known cases of COVID-19. Case reporting will be contingent on a positive result from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). As per past practice, where a positive COVID-19 test has been reported to the principal, school staff and affected classes/cohorts will be notified in writing.
Case reporting will only continue at the class/cohort level. The HWCDSB will no longer be reporting cases in the COVID-19 Advisory, as case counts may not be indicative of actual COVID-19 cases within a school or within the system.
Starting January 19, 2022, schools are required to monitor their own absenteeism rates and report on student and staff absences and school closures daily on the Ministry absence reporting tool. The daily school reports will be published on the public-facing provincial website, starting January 24, 2022. Data on school absenteeism rates can be accessed from this site.
Hamilton Public Health Services will be notified if absenteeism rises to a defined level and a letter will be sent home to families.
As per provincial guidance, school boards are required to publicly post school closures.
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