In a further effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, the Ministry of Education has directed that voluntary asymptomatic COVID-19 testing of students and staff will be conducted in Ontario schools. The testing is also expected to include children and staff from child-care centres located inside schools, as well as school bus drivers.
A Community Approach
Locally, the St. Clair Catholic DSB, Lambton Kent DSB, Conseil scolaire catholique Providence and Conseil scolaire Viamonde, are partnering to run asymptomatic testing from a community approach; sharing facilities and providing families with open access to locations regardless of board attended.
This initiative is being coordinated by CLASS, the Lambton Kent and St. Clair Catholic DSB’s joint consortium, which also manages transportation, child-care, energy & environmental services, and community use of schools.
Who is eligible for testing?
The Targeted Schools Testing program is to provide access to testing for asymptomatic students and staff who continue to attend school. It is not to include individuals who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or those who have been advised to self-isolate.
In accordance with Public Health guidelines, all attendees are screened and required to answer three questions upon arrival at these testing clinics:
- Are you presently in self-isolation / quarantine due to travel history or have you been told to self-isolate by public health?
- Do you have any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19? These include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, extreme fatigue or tiredness, body aches, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, loss of appetite, headache, nausea or vomiting.
- Have you had or been recommend to have a COVID-19 test by a medical health professional or public health within the last 14 days?
Anyone who answers YES to any of these questions will be turned away and directed to a COVID-19 assessment centre for testing.
If the student or staff member is part of a class (or cohort) that has been dismissed from school and has been told to self-isolate due to potential exposure to a COVID positive person in their class, they will not be allowed to come into the clinic for testing. They should utilize the public system and obtain testing at an alternate location, like a hospital-run assessment centre, that has been established to handle symptomatic individuals and those with known exposure to COVID positive individuals.
When and where will testing take place?
Testing will be conducted using a community ‘hub’ model. Schools and childcares will have a scheduled testing date; however, if the date is not convenient anyone eligible for testing can attend any of the session dates. Please click on the link below to view the complete testing schedule, and to determine which schools are scheduled for testing at which sites.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Voluntary testing is being offered to asymptomatic school staff, daycare staff, students, daycare children and school bus drivers.
- This test can only be done on people who have no COVID-19 symptoms and who are not considered at high risk for having COVID-19.
- Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms, who has been instructed to get a COVID-19 test at a local COVID-19 assessment center, or who is a contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case should not have the test done.
- Generally, people who have had COVID-19 and have recovered are not recommended to get the rapid antigen test done.
Yes, consent for the test will be required from parents or legal guardians of students under the age of 18. LifeLabs will have the applicable forms available at the testing site.
One piece of government-issued identification, such as an original birth certificate, health card or passport will be required for proof of identification.
LifeLabs uses the nasal swab collection method. Samples are then sent to the lab for PCR testing.
This is short swab similar to a Q-tip that is inserted into the front part of the nostril and rotated for fifteen seconds (per nostril). Our trained staff will perform the test in a space designated by the school. Some students may be nervous about testing, but it’s important to note the test is not painful and should not be uncomfortable for your child. The test should take no more than two minutes from start to finish.
The Ministry of Education has arranged for the testing to be conducted by a third party. LifeLabs, a Canadian-owned company that has been serving the healthcare needs of Canadians for more than 50 years, will perform the tests and provide staff and families with information on how to obtain test results. Chatham-Kent and Lambton public health units will receive the results.
Testing will be conducted using a community ‘hub’ model, schools & childcares will have a scheduled testing date/location, and children, students and staff from those school communities will be invited to participate in the testing, however, if the date is not convenient anyone eligible for testing can register for one of the weekly or spring break sessions.
Yes, we recommend that parents or legal guardians accompany their child(ren) to the testing site if they are under the age of 18.
No, the test is voluntary.
LifeLabs are focused on making this a brief and gentle experience want to assure you that if your child is uncomfortable or unable to be tested, they will not test your child.
Test results will be provided within 24-48 hours on LifeLabs WorkClear Thrive website if you chose to register and create an account.
If an OHIP number has been provided at the time of check-in/registration, results will also be uploaded to https://covid19results.ehealthontario.ca:4443/agree. This website uses the details entered at the time of check-in/registration, such as health card number or date of birth, to identify and validate the individual (e.g. your child). It then searches the repository for the COVID-19 test results. Results are displayed for up to 90 days from the date it is reported.
All positive results will be communicated as required by the public health unit. You will receive a call from the LifeLabs clinical team within 48hrs and a separate call from your local Public Health unit within a few days.
Positive results will be communicated as required by the public health unit. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, you will get a call from your local Public Health unit within a few days.
This testing will only be provided to asymptomatic individuals. If you or your child(ren) have any COVID-19 symptoms, please follow public health guidelines.
Every mobile collection site will include the following health and safety protocols:
• PPE for Droplet Precautions all staff working in the location with changes to certain items between each individual served
• Enhanced hand hygiene for all staff
• Disinfecting of the cubicles and chairs between each individual tested
• Surgical masks will be provided, if necessary
• Hand hygiene for students and staff will be required before and after service is provided