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Communicable Diseases and Immunization Manual

Guidelines for schools and day nurseries

The purpose of this guide is to provide simple guidelines for reporting and exclusion of infectious diseases, head lice, immunization requirements and environmental cleaning. This information includes signs & symptoms, transmission, contagious period, what needs to be done along with exclusion and reporting guidelines for common childhood communicable diseases.

Cases of specific communicable diseases must be reported to the Health Unit according to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990, c. H.7, s 28, as amended 2014 as follows:

“The principal of a school, who is of the opinion that a pupil in the school has or may have a communicable disease shall, as soon as possible after forming the opinion, report thereon to the Medical Officer of the Health Unit in which the school is located.”

All diseases listed on the Reportable Diseases, 2013 MUST be reported to the health unit. The health unit will require the name of the child(ren), date of birth, address, home telephone number, name of parent/guardian and their telephone number at work if available.

In order for the health unit to follow-up appropriately with contacts of communicable diseases, you may be requested to provide the most recent list for the class of the infected child(ren). This list must include name, date of birth, address, home telephone number, name of parent/guardian and their work telephone number if available.

Diagnosis should be made by a physician or nurse practitioner. Any child who is too ill to participate fully in regular activities should stay home from school or daycare.

Reporting absenteeism

In order to be pro-active in preventing the spread of communicable diseases, we ask that you contact the Infectious Disease Nurse at the Porcupine Health Unit if the absenteeism rate in your facility increases by 10% or more due to illness.

Pregnant employees and parents

Pregnant employees or parents who are concerned about the effects of any communicable/infectious disease on the unborn child should contact their healthcare provider.

Reporting to public health

Telephone or fax the health unit office to report communicable/infectious diseases in your school or day care. 

Tel: 705-267-1181; Toll-free: 1-800-461-1818; Fax: 705-360-7328

Download a printable copy of this document here.

Contents

This manual has been compiled from a variety of resources. For a complete reference listing see our useful resources.

  1. Common Childhood Communicable Diseases
    The health unit has established exclusion guidelines for common childhood diseases which can be found here. This information also includes signs & symptoms, transmission, contagious period, what needs to be done in the day care and school setting.
  2. Head Lice Guidelines
    Under Ontario Regulation 558/91 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Pediculosis (head lice) is not on the list of communicable diseases. As such, the boards of health consider head lice to be a nuisance and not a health hazard.
  3. Hand Hygiene
    Handwashing posters available for download.
  4. Immunization Requirements for Schools
    Every student must have a complete immunization record on file with the Porcupine Health Unit in order to attend school. The Porcupine Health Unit is required by the Immunization of School Pupil’s Act RR.O 1990 Reg. 645 to ensure that a child attending school in the Porcupine Health Unit area is fully immunized.
  5. Immunization Requirements for Day Cares
    As per the Child Care and Early Years Act: Ontario Regulation 137/15, Day Nursery operators must ensure that all children have complete immunization appropriate to their age prior to admission to the day nursery.
  6. Immunization Requirements for Day Nursery Employees
    When hiring, make sure that prospective staff members meet immunization requirements and you have all relevant health information on file.
  7. Environmental Cleaning
    Cleaning is an important first step in removing disease causing organisms from the environment. Surfaces not cleaned may allow dirt and organic matter to blanket germs and reduce the effectiveness of chemical disinfectants.
  8. Precautions against the flu
    Take Care. Everyone’s health depends on it!
  9. Reportable Diseases 2013
    The following specified Reportable Disease, (Ontario Regulation 559/91 and amendments under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990) are to be reported to the local Medical Officer of Health.
  10. Animal bites
    All bites from animals must be reported to the inspection department of the Porcupine Health Unit under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Reg. 557. Children should be warned against handling dead, sick or wild animals including raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats.