Effective Friday, September 17, a province-wide mandatory masking order will be implemented for all indoor public spaces. 

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COVID-19 Case and Contact Management in Schools

Case and contact management in schools continues to be of high priority for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Timely notification of potential exposures for staff and students will assist in keeping students in the school setting, which supports their mental health; academic, social and physical development; and reduce the social inequities that result from extended employee absences to care for their children.

Public health will assess if the positive case is a student or staff member and if they attended school while infectious (potential exposures).

Public health will continue to notify the school of potential exposures and will work with the case and school to identify affected classrooms or other settings (e.g., bus routes). Public health will provide communication for affected classrooms that the school will disseminate through their existing distribution list(s).

Public health communication will use template letters as notification to parents and guardians of the exposure in the school setting that will include guidance on self-monitoring, exemptions from self-isolation, testing and vaccination.

In the event of contact with a positive case, the following flow chart provides a visual of the steps to consider and implications for students as noted in the updated Public Health Order.

Unvaccinated pupils that are identified as a close contact of a household case will not be exempted from the requirement to isolate for 14 days. They may not attend school.

Saskatchewan Schools: Student Close Contact Protocol

Province-wide mask mandate applies to all students per new masking order

Students Close Contact Protocol

Staff Member as Close Contact

Staff members (teachers, educational assistants, bus drivers, etc.) who are not fully vaccinated and identified as a close contact from any exposure to a COVID-19 case are NOT exempt from self-isolation for 14 days following last exposure.

Schools should assume that staff members who are close contacts due to cases in school are unvaccinated and required to self-isolate unless the staff member provides proof of vaccination. Fully vaccinated staff who are asymptomatic may continue to work as usual while they monitor themselves for symptoms.

Outbreaks in Schools

If a medical health officer (MHO) declares an outbreak in a school setting, public health will notify the school and will provide communication that the school will disseminate through existing distribution lists. MHOs may order schools to implement specific outbreak control measures, according to The Public Health Act.

Public disclosure of outbreaks in schools will continue to be available on Saskatchewan.ca.

COVID-19 Prevention in School Settings

Experience indicates that school-associated cases reflect community transmission, and the risk of transmission within schools is low when routine and enhanced infection control precautions are in place. Medical health officers strongly encourage schools to implement additional enhanced precautions including:

  • Promote hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, environmental cleaning, ventilation, self-testing (rapid testing) where available;
  • Any staff and students feeling unwell should stay home until symptoms resolve;
  • Diagnostic testing is recommended if someone develops COVID-19 symptoms, but proof of negative test not required to return to school; and,
  • Encouraging everyone who is eligible gets both doses of a two‐dose COVID‐19 vaccine series, including household members of students and staff.

The Ministry of Health and medical health officers will continue to monitor school case rates and transmission patterns. School divisions are encouraged to use their established processes for schools to monitor absenteeism and report illness that are of benefit to the control of COVID-19. Schools are required to report cases or carriers of communicable diseases to the medical health officer, as per The Public Health Act, 1994.

Masking for Schools

As of September 17, 2021, mask use in all indoor public locations in Saskatchewan including in schools is mandatory until further notice.

Exemptions include:

  • While playing a woodwind, brass, or other instrument operated by breath but only if they can maintain a distance of three metres from other individuals as measured from the mouth or opening/bell end of the instrument to another individual while playing, whichever is closest.
  • For individuals under 18 years of age while participating in athletic or sports activities for the duration of the sport or activity.

All spectators, staff, volunteers and those who are coaching are not exempt from the mask policy. Students who are walking to the stage, courts, ice, pitch, etc. must wear masks; however, when they begin play, the masks may be removed.

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