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School Newsletter Tips - October

 October
 
Screen your child for COVID-19 symptoms daily 
Parents and guardians have an important role to play in keeping schools healthy. Every student must be screened daily before leaving for school using the online screening tool - https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/. This tool will help parents determine when the child cannot attend school and provides instructions for what to do next.  If you can’t complete the screening tool online, ask your school for a printable copy or find it on our website at www.nwhu.on.ca​. If your child does not pass the screen and will be absent from school, let the school know.
What if I think my child has a common cold? 
If a student has symptoms of a cold or the flu, then COVID-19 testing is recommended. A doctor or nurse practitioner won’t be able to determine whether a student has COVID-19 without a test.  Seeking a health care provider is appropriate if you think your child has a new chronic condition, such as an allergy or asthma, or for medical emergencies.  Doctor’s notes are not required for return to school.
Communication of COVID-19 Cases
Positive COVID-19 cases are communicated to the public by NWHU. For reasons of privacy, NWHU does not publicly release the exact location of positive cases. School boards are required to report on their websites the school to which the confirmed case is connected. NWHU and school boards ask that members of the public respect the privacy of all positive cases, and do not post identifying information on social media. A student or staff who contracts COVID-19 should be shown support and kindness for getting tested to keep their community and school safe.
Masks encouraged for K-3 students, required for 4-12
NWHU strongly encourages students in grade 3 and lower to wear a mask if they are able.  Masks are required indoors for students in grade 4 and up.  Masks reduce the chance of spreading the virus to other people.  Students should wear a clean mask each day and change masks during the day if their mask gets dirty or damp. Students may need more than one mask per day, and schools will have extra masks if a child doesn’t bring a spare.
Substance Use
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a steady increase in substance use among Canadians. Both adults and youth may turn to substances such as alcohol, cannabis, or tobacco to help them cope with increased pressure, stress, loneliness or worry. Parents and guardians can support and encourage their child to find healthier ways of coping during this difficult time. If you are looking for more information on how to talk to your child about substance use and COVID, please visit www.drugfreekidscanada.org. 
Mental Health
Parents and students may struggle with a variety of stressors now that schools have reopened. Children’s Mental Health Ontario has created a great online back to school toolkit full of resources for parents on how to support their children during this return to school in the ‘new normal’, as well as resources for parents on prioritizing your own wellness. For more information and the tool kit check out https://cmho.org/back-to-school/.
Eating Well During Covid-19
There aren’t any specific foods or nutrients that prevent covid-19, but a nutritious diet along with other healthy behaviours, such as staying active and getting enough sleep, can strengthen your immune system’s ability to fight. Focus on including vegetables and/or fruits, whole grains, and protein foods at each meal. Include children when cooking and planning meals to help build their confidence and skills. Eat mindfully- eat when hungry and stop when full. For more information visit https://cns-scn.ca/sites/default/uploads/files/CNS_2020_COVID-19_and_Nutrition_English.pdf​