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Communicable Diseases and Immunization Manual

Guidelines for schools and day nurseries

The purpose of this manual 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.

Reporting absenteeism

In order to be pro-active in preventing the spread of communicable diseases, we ask that you contact your assigned school public health nurse or inspector at the Porcupine Health Unit if the absenteeism rate in your facility increases by 20% or more due to illness.

Reporting to public health

As per the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990, c. H.7, s 28, as amended 2017, it is the duty of a school principal: 

“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.”

Telephone the health unit office to report communicable diseases (Diseases of Public Health Significance) in your school or day care. 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 numb er at work if available.

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


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
    For vaccine information on childhood immunizations, school immunizations, licenced child care centre immunizations, and exemptions.
  5. 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.
  6. Precautions against the flu
    Take Care. Everyone’s health depends on it!
  7. Diseases of Public Health Significance
    The following specified diseases, (Ontario Regulation 135/18 and amendments under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990) are to be reported to the local Medical Officer of Health or designate.
  8. 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.
  9. Useful Resources