Schools, child care centres and COVID-19

With schools and child care centres reopening their doors in a pandemic, the focus is on safety for children, students, and staff. Public Health Sudbury & Districts is working actively with school boards and childcare centers in our service area to ensure they have the public health supports they need for a healthy and successful return to school or child care.

What’s on this page?

COVID-19 self-assessment

All staff, students, children, and visitors must self-screen every day before attending school or child care.  The questions in the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool (Government of Ontario) can help you decide if your child should or should not go to school or childcare today.

Outbreaks in schools and child care centres

Public Health posts information about outbreaks and potential exposure risks  of COVID-19 including current outbreaks in schools and child care centers,

Visit our FAQ about Schools, child care centres and COVID-19 for more information about outbreaks in these settings.

Wearing masks in schools or child care centres

Face coverings, specifically non-medical masks, are one way to help keep your kids and others safe from COVID-19 at school/child care centre.

As of August 13, 2021, the Ministry of Education requires that students in Grades 1 to 12 are required to wear a properly fitted non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including the hallways and during classes, as well on school vehicles.

Masks may be temporarily removed indoors to consume food or drink, when a minimum distance of two metres maintained between cohorts and as much distancing as possible within a cohort.

Check with your child’s school, as additional policies may be implemented regarding the use of masks in the school setting.

Visit our FAQ about Schools, child care centres and COVID-19 for more information about mask wearing in these settings.

Eating and drinking in schools and child care centres

Whether your child is attending school in person or virtually, plan and prepare lunches ahead of time so they are well balanced with plenty of healthy good choices.

Learn more about food and healthy eat for children and youth.

Visit our FAQ about Schools, child care centres and COVID-19 for more information about eating and drinking in these settings.

Cohorting in schools and child care centres

Cohorting refers to keeping children together in smaller groups during the day and during related activities, limiting the exposure to other students and staff. This practice will help with contact tracing should that be necessary. Your child will be assigned to a specific cohort(s), and the cohort must stay together throughout the day. As much as possible, the mixing of cohorts should be avoided.

Elementary school students will be cohorted with their classmates and homeroom teacher(s), with limited contact with other subject teachers.

Visit our FAQ about Schools, child care centres and COVID-19  for more information about cohorting in these settings.


Public Health has developed various resources for schools, school boards, and parents to help them follow COVID-safe school protocols (Government of Ontario) and support the safe re-opening of child care centers (Government of Ontario).

Posters and handouts

The following posters can be used by schools to remind children and students about the importance of physical distancing, how to wear a mask and washing their hands.



For more frequently asked questions about schools, childcare centres and COVID-19.

For more detailed information on COVID-19 procedures in childcare centres visit our Child Care Centres and COVID-19 page.

This item was last modified on September 30, 2021