With no mandatory mask mandates for Ontario students this fall, COVID testing can play an important role in keeping you and your family aware of your status.
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With masks being voluntary - not mandatory - in Ontario schools this fall, COVID testing can again play an important role in many people's lives.
Most health and safety requirements for the upcoming school year will remain unchanged from the end of the 2021-22 school year, the province's Education Ministry has said.
Since this includes the voluntary use of masks for the province's 2 million students, RT-PCR tests may become a valuable health monitoring tool for people wishing to check their status and take action to help protect others in case they do test positive.
In schools, students can use free masks and staff will have access to N95s provided by the provincial government. School boards will also continue to have access to rapid tests to be used following provincial testing guidance.
The Education Ministry has also said that medical officers of health, and the Children's Health Coalition were consulted on the health and safety plan for this year.
While Ontario's chief medical officer of health had stated this past summer that the seventh wave of COVID-19 in Ontario had peaked, some are calling the lifting of the mask mandate premature and have stated that it would leave some students at risk of having their in-person learning time disrupted again.
The Case for Vaccinations, Testing & Protections
Since current legislation has removed the option for school boards to mandate masks for all staff and students - even if the province only specified mandatory masks for certain ages or grades - individual school boards are not allowed to make their own rules.
This is in addition to the fact that school boards have raised concerns about COVID-19 vaccination rates, proper ventilation and other aspects of health and safety.
The more people who take preventive measures such as getting vaccinated, wearing a mask and monitoring their status with testing, the better - especially as many children are dealing with long COVID and inflammatory syndromes as a result of the virus.
Testing, vaccinations and protections such as voluntary masking continue to be effective tools in the battle against COVID-19 as people strive to keep themselves safe and prevent infections or re-infections.
Some events, workplaces and other settings also continue to require attendees and employees to submit a negative routine test. Fortunately, we offer pre-travel COVID-19 tests, as well as testing for schools and larger events and gatherings such as seminars or weddings.
If you've recently tested positive for COVID-19 after taking a Rapid Antigen Test or an RT-PCR Test, our on-staff healthcare professional will be able to assess you for recovery following isolation. We will issue you a Letter of Recovery (also referred to as a COVID Certificate) if the assessment indicates you've recovered from COVID-19 indicating your recovered status.