Students and staff are required for two rapid antigen tests

(File) 학교 / Global Korean Post photo


Students and staff are required for two rapid antigen tests


Jan 14, 2021

Global Korean Post


As the highly transmissible Omicron variant is circulating across Canada, each province has launched in-person learning.  Ontario’s elementary and high school students are returning to in-person learning on January 17.


The Ontario government announced the launch of school-based vaccine clinics for youth and staff, along with a significant deployment of rapid antigen tests.  These new measures build on the province providing millions of high-quality masks for staff and students and thousands more HEPA filtration units.


To help stabilize workforce and student participation, beginning the week of January 17, the Ontario government will also provide rapid antigen tests for students and staff in public elementary and secondary schools, along with children and staff in childcare settings.


Over 3.9 million rapid antigen tests are being shipped to school boards this week, with additional tests to be delivered next week.


The use of the tests is for symptomatic individuals, who will be required to take two rapid tests 24 hours apart, and upon negative results can return to class.


Additional measures in place to prepare for the return to in-person learning include the following:

  • High-Quality Masks: Providing access to more than 10 million non-fit-tested N95 masks to all education and child care staff – the only province to do so – with more than four million three-ply cloth masks for students recently shipped for use in schools.
  • Improved Ventilation: Deploying an additional 3,000 standalone HEPA filter units to learning environments, building on the ventilation improvement measures already in place at every school across Ontario, including the more than 70,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices that have been provided and mechanical ventilation upgrades.
  • Stricter Screening: Updated and stricter screening requirements for students and staff, including daily onsite confirmation of screening.
  • Historic Funding: School board access to $1.6 billion in resources to protect against COVID-19, including supports for mental health, technology, over 2,350 additional staff and ventilation.
  • Access to Additional Educators: Access to retired educators for a longer period of time following a recent agreement with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, and access to first year teacher candidates who are deemed eligible.
  • Enhanced Cohorting and Cleaning: New time-limited cohorting protocols to limit direct and indirect contacts by pausing high-contact extra curricular sports, stricter lunch cohort requirements, and elevated cleaning requirements at all schools.


To further support staffing stability and reduce disruption for students, families, and education and child care staff, the government is further expanding access to vaccines by:

  • Supporting a mass vaccination clinic at the International Centre with dedicated times for education and child care staff
  • Opening 10 vaccination clinics across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that offer dedicated time slots for education and child care staff
  • Encouraging public health units to support accelerated access to boosters.

More than five million Ontarians have already received a booster shot and the above vaccination options are in addition to those also being offered locally by public health units across the province.


With these measures in place, including new testing options and expanded access to vaccination, and continuous improvement to ventilation, the Ontario government is supporting access to in-person learning with greater stability for students and families. Remote learning will remain an option for those families wishing to access it.


Children aged five to 11 are eligible to book their appointment to receive the paediatric COVID-19 vaccine. To get answers to their questions, parents, caregivers and children are encouraged to call the Provincial Vaccine Confidence Line that can be accessed by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or visit COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids clinician.