School Board to implement screening tool, additional masking measures as COVID numbers increase

The HPEDSB Education Centre. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)




The rising case numbers of COVID-19 in the region have many people concerned, and, as a result of this increase, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) is revising their protocol in oder to keep students safe and learning at school, working in partnership with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH).

Katherine MacIver, Director of Education for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. (Submitted photo)

Starting on Tuesday, anyone going to a school including students, staff and visitors, must pass the ‘provincial screening tool’ as well as the updated HPE Enhanced Screening Tool before going to school.

The updated HPE Enhanced Screening Tool includes the following:

  • daily screening for sore throat or difficulty swallowing;
  • runny or stuffy nose;
  • abdominal pain;
  • headache (unusual or long lasting);
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye); or
  • decreased/lack of appetite.

If any student, staff or visitor answers yes to any of the above listed symptoms  are not to attend school/work until the symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours.

To help control the spread of the virus HPEPH has directed local school boards to implement additional safety measures at elementary schools until further notice, including:

  • requiring masks for all JK/SK students;
  • strict cohorting inside the school. This means only one group at a time in spaces, such as gyms or libraries; and
  • cohorting outside at recess and lunch when masks are not worn, or if cohorts are using the same area outside, masks must be worn.

“Everyone at HPEDSB is working diligently to keep students safe and our schools open,” expressed Katherine MacIver, HPEDSB Director of Education. “We are responding to confirmed COVID-19 situations as quickly as they arise. As always, if you have any questions about your child’s learning, please contact their teacher, or the school principal. Thank you for your continued support of your child’s school and your assistance in doing all you can to help keep everyone safe.”

If you have questions about the enhanced screening, or the additional safety measures put in place by the HPEPH, please visit

To read more about the updated enhanced school measures from Dr. Ethan Toumishey please visit  Enhanced school measures including screening, effective Tuesday, December 7 

To visit the Ontario school screening tool please visit