Subject: Healthy Schools Connection Newsletter - September 2020

Volume 20 Issue 2
Back to School COVID-19 Resources for Educators

Visit our website for teaching tools you can use to address COVID-19 prevention with students in your classroom. The resources include videos, handouts and posters, and are separated by age group (elementary, secondary) and topic to help you find what you need. Resources are available on the following topics:
  • Physical distancing
  • Hand hygiene
  • Wearing a mask
  • Respiratory etiquette
  • And more.
Visit our COVID-19 and Safe Return to Schools webpage for more information and printable resources.
What happens if there is a positive COVID-19 test in a school?

Northwestern Health Unit will contact the positive case and gather details about their contacts. The positive case will be directed to self-isolate and not return to school until they are no longer able to spread the virus (i.e. cleared by NWHU to return). If school-level contact tracing is required, Northwestern Health Unit will contact the school principal for additional details about contacts and to advise the school on enhanced cleaning measures. The NWHU will connect with everyone identified as a contact and will provide each with directions. Contacts of the case (as determined by NWHU from the information gathered) will be asked to self-monitor or self-isolate, depending on a risk assessment. If students or staff are excluded from school, they will be given a date or conditions on which it is safe to return.
Have Covid-19 Questions? Call the Hotline!

The Northwestern Health Unit COVID-19 Hotline is here to help answer your COVID questions! The lines are open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. Call 1-866-468-2240. You can also visit our website for up to date information: nwhu.on.ca/covid19 or email your questions to healthyschools@nwhu.on.ca.
Working together for your students’ oral health

Due to COVID-19, we are unsure at this time whether NWHU will be able to provide dental services within schools this year. We will however be offering dental services in some of our offices. Throughout the year, if you notice dental concerns that aren’t being addressed in any of your students, please let us know. We may be able to help them receive dental treatment free of charge, if they qualify. Contact your local health unit office for more information.
Adults need immunizations too

As a school employee, you are a role model for students - they watch you and are inspired by you every day. Being up to date with immunizations is something you can do to lead by example…are you due for any shots? Sign up for ICON to view your record online!
Student Immunization Services

Due to COVID-19, NWHU may not be able to provide immunization services in the school setting, at least in the short term. Planning is underway to ensure immunizations continue to be accessible either in health unit offices and/or community settings. The NWHU will continue to make sure that all children attending school have up-to-date immunizations according to the current publicly funded immunization schedule for Ontario and in accordance with the Immunization of School Pupils Act.
Supporting student mental health during COVID-19

Students may have experienced a range of emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in routine, including time away from school, may create challenges for some students. Young people with pre-existing mental health problems may find their symptoms increasing in light of the current uncertainties. See what students have to say about return to school in this video from School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO): Video.

SMHO has compiled tips and resources to help answer questions you may have about how to support students during this time. Check out smho-smso.ca/covid-19/educators/ for more information

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