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Childcare Settings

If an individual (child, staff, visitor, etc.) shows symptoms of COVID-19, isolate them immediately and provide them with a surgical/procedure mask. If they cannot wear a mask ensure that the individual providing direct care to the person with symptoms properly wears personal protective equipment including a mask and eye protection at a minimum.  Separate them immediately from others in a supervised area until they can go home or be picked up. If possible, stay two metres from the individual. When the individual has left, clean and disinfect the areas they were in contact with. 

Yes. Unlicensed childcare settings are required to actively screen all children, staff, and visitors using Ontario’s childcare screening tool. Staff should be screened using Ontario’s workplace screening tool.

View Ontario’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures for Child Care webpage.

In addition, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit works closely with operators to provide advice and recommendations to ensure the safety of staff, children and their families.

Each childcare centre may have different procedures depending on their available space. The Ministry of Education encourages each centre to share information of their health and safety procedures with families. Parents with questions can contact their child’s care centre for more information on the specific measures to follow.


A face shield should not be worn in place of a face covering at any point in the school day. A face shield should be used as additional personal protective equipment (PPE) in situations which require added protection from respiratory droplets.

For information on authorized medical devices for use related to COVID-19, please visit the Government of Canada’s website.

When considering use of a specific surgical/procedure mask, be sure to first verify whether the product has been approved by Health Canada and the mask is able to meet the standards set by Health Canada for surgical/procedure masks. 

As per the Ministry of Education’s guidelines, students in Grades 1-12 are required to wear a non-medical mask while indoors at school, and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Students in JK/SK are encouraged, but not required, to wear a mask indoors. However, local school boards may have additional masking requirements. Please refer to your individual board’s policies for more information.

Physical distancing is an important protection measure to prevent exposures to COVID-19. This includes providing as much space as possible between student’s desks or personal spaces, in seating areas such as cafeterias and staff rooms, and for bus waiting lines to ensure physical distancing in shared spaces and lines are in effect. Please refer to your school board’s back to school plans for how your school will be implementing physical distancing measures.

Only students from the same household or within the same cohorts are permitted to share a seat on the bus. Students are to maintain a 2 metre distance between riders from front to back, as well as side to side across the aisles. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.

Schools will implement a more frequent cleaning and disinfecting routine according to Ministry and Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings. The recommendations include developing and reviewing a cleaning program, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces, routine cleaning of outdoor surfaces, and cleaning shared objects between each use.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has provided consultation and specific guidance to the Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) to address student transportation requirements related to COVID-19.

A mask should be replaced with a clean mask if soiled, or if it no longer follows the Government of Canada requirements.

Yes. Physical distancing is mandatory while riding the bus, and while waiting to load the bus. It is recommended that parents and students wear a non-medical face mask at bus stops if physical distancing cannot be maintained. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.

It is recommended that parents refrain from exiting their vehicle when dropping their children off at school. For parents escorting children to school on bike or walking, it is advised to limit the number of people accompanying each student to one person. Parents should immediately refrain from any social interaction during pick up and drop off between parents or between parents and teachers. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) as well as your school board for more information.

Cohorting refers to a group of students and staff who must stay together throughout the school day, and remain isolated from other cohorts to limit the risk of contact. Cohorting decreases the number of people each child is exposed to by limiting the number of students and staff they are exposed to each day. This is especially critical for the younger age groups as cohorting limits the mixing of students and allows for social interaction to occur more safely.

If a student feels sick while on the bus, or before boarding the bus, they should advise the bus driver right away who will alert dispatch or a teacher for help in informing the students’ parents. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.

All students and staff members must complete a self-screening questionnaire before arriving at school and must stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms. If a student or staff member becomes sick at school, the following will be applied:

  • They will be isolated from others immediately and put in a separate room.
  • The ill student/staff member must wear a mask until they have left the premises.
  • Staff must be sent home immediately and be directed to complete the COVID-19 school and child care screening.
  • The ill student will be monitored by a staff member until they are picked up from school. 
  • The staff member caring for the ill child waiting to be picked up must wear a surgical mask and eye protection, regardless of physical distancing.
  • All objects and surfaces touched by the ill student and staff will be cleaned and disinfected immediately once sent home.
  • Any objects used by the ill individual that cannot be cleaned and disinfected (i.e. books) should be sealed and stored away for a minimum of 7 days.

For school specific protocols about this process please contact your school administration.

Reasonable exceptions to the requirement to wear masks can be put in place by schools and school boards. Please speak to your school or school board for more information around medical exemptions.

Medical masks (surgical/procedural) are required to be worn by school staff and visitors indoors in school. Staff are not required to wear medical masks outdoors when two metres of distance is maintained from others. Staff must wear full PPE (including medical masks and eye protection) when working in close contact with students who are not wearing masks, both indoors and outdoors. For more information, and guidance on eye protection, visit the Government of Ontario website.

Safety information for bus riders including what personal protective equipment is needed (e.g., masking), cleaning protocols, screening, and other safety measures including information on physical distancing and what to do if a child feels sick on the bus can be found on Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) website.

Families must provide masks for their children. Schools will provide PPE, including masks, for all staff and students if they cannot access one themselves. Please check with your school administration for more information.