Asymptomatic Testing in HWCDSB schools
The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board will be holding asymptomatic targeted testing on a rotating basis at select elementary and secondary schools, starting February 20th.
The testing is voluntary for asymptomatic students and staff and is part of the province’s enhanced health and safety measures to keep schools safe and to support public health officials in tracking and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
As new COVID-19 variants emerge in our province and community, testing is crucial to continue the downward trend of case counts in our province. Modelling and epidemiological studies suggest that the COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom can spread easier and faster.
Asymptomatic targeted testing will be undertaken in at least 5% of the elementary and secondary schools each week. Priority will be given to schools with outbreaks, high transmission rates of COVID-19 and limited access to testing opportunities.
The testing is open to asymptomatic students and staff only. Household members of students and staff, and anyone with symptoms, should seek testing at an assessment centre.
Testing will use a combination of rapid antigen and PCR testing and will look to use less invasive methods of testing where possible. Children and staff in school-based child care centres will be included in school testing plans.