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Ministry of Education Update: Lifting of Public Health Measures

March 9, 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff:

With the peak of Omicron infections now behind us, the Ontario government, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, continues to ease public health measures across the province, including in schools.  The following changes to public health measures were announced today:

Effective March 21, 2022:

  • Masking will no longer be required for students, staff or visitors at schools; or on school buses.  Students and staff who wish to continue to wear masks may do so.  Masks will continue to be provided at school for those who choose to wear them. 

It is important to note that under current federal travel requirements, upon return from international travel, individuals must: wear a mask at all times when in public spaces (including schools and childcare); maintain a list of all close contacts for their first 14 days in Canada; and monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

  • On-site screening ends; however, students and staff are still required to use and follow the results of the daily provincial screening tool each day before attending school or Board offices.  The screening tool has been updated to align with new public health guidance.
  • Cohorting and distancing are no longer required in schools.  Students can again learn and play together across cohorts, classes and grades, both indoors and outdoors, during lunch and recess.  Shared spaces such as libraries, tech labs, theatres and music rooms can be fully utilized without distancing.  Programs across grades, such as reading buddies can return.
  • Limitations on in-person gatherings and assemblies will also be removed; therefore, schools can plan to host in-person events such as proms, graduation ceremonies, school assemblies and liturgical celebrations.
  • Assigned seating is no longer required on student transportation.

Effective March 14, 2022:

  • Vaccination disclosure policies for school board staff are lifted and Rapid Antigen Testing three times a week for unvaccinated staff is no longer required.

Public Health Measures to Remain in Place:

  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette will continue to be promoted throughout the school day.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols will remain in place.
  • Significant improvements have been made to ventilation and filtration systems through the implementation of various measures in schools across St. Clair Catholic.  These measures include improvements to existing ventilation systems, deployment of standalone HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices and upgrades to school ventilation infrastructure.  For more information, visit the Board website and click on ‘Ventilation Report.’
  • Schools will continue to monitor COVID-19 impacts and report to public health absence rates which exceed 30% of the established baseline.

With these changes, our schools will return to a learning environment which is more normalized.  We welcome the changes, as we look forward with optimism to brighter days ahead.  However, we will remain vigilant, as we keep the health and safety of our students and staff top of mind.  Thank you again for your support throughout these past two long years. 

My prayer is that you and your family will enjoy a safe, healthy and restful March break; and that we will all return to school on March 21 filled with new hope and joy for the coming Spring!


Scott Johnson
Director of Education