Toronto District School Board

Message from Toronto Public Health: Reducing Spread of Respiratory Viruses


Good Morning Parents/Guardians/Caregivers and Students,

Please find below an important message from Toronto Public Health with regard to a number of steps that can be taken to help keep children and others safe from an increase in respiratory viruses among children including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza and COVID-19. Please note that Toronto Public Health, together with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is strongly recommending the wearing of a well-fitted mask in indoor public settings, including in schools and childcares.

Thank you.
 


November 15, 2022

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Re: Reducing Spread of Respiratory Viruses

As the weather has gotten colder, there has been an increase in respiratory viruses among children including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza and COVID-19. These three viruses have been called a "Triple Threat" because they can cause serious illness, especially to children under five years of age, seniors and people with medical conditions.

Recently, there have been higher than usual hospital admissions among children with one or more of these viruses. Toronto Public Health strongly recommends layers of protection to help keep children and others safe:
 

  • Masking: Wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public settings, including in schools and childcare. Children under 2 and those with medical exemptions are not recommended to wear a mask.
     
  • Vaccinations: Anyone 6 months and older should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, including a fall booster for anyone 5 years of age and older and a fall influenza vaccine. Anyone aged 5 and older can safely get their COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine at the same time.
     
  • Stay home if sick: Complete this daily symptom check for your child. Keep your child home, even if symptoms are mild, and until they are feeling better.
     
  • Clean your hands: Use hand sanitizer or wash hands often.
     
  • Clean surfaces: Clean commonly touched surfaces frequently.

Call 811 or speak to your child's healthcare provider if you have questions about your child's health. If your child is sick, you can find information about how to care for them here. We can all take care of our families and school communities by reducing the spread of respiratory viruses. When we reduce the spread we also help ensure that our healthcare system remains able to care for the sick.

Sincerely,

Nicole Welch
Director Child and Youth Response and Chief Nursing Officer