Infection Prevention and Control

coronavirus subtopics

ETFO COVID Resources: 

Tip Sheet for Members

To help you better understand your health and safety rights in the workplace and the responsibilities of the employer, review our new tip sheet.  Click to see the second page and download for future reference. 

Click here for an accessible text version. 

Learn more: 

School Guidance documents: 

Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing and Vaccines:

Websites to reference: 

Other Information: 

COVID-19 Updates Related to Schools

School boards and principals are required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act to “take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker”.  This means that they may need to take precautions beyond what is outlined by the government’s guidelines for reopening schools or the guidance from public health authorities.  This website is intended to help you gather updated information from reliable sources to advocate for the rights you are provided in legislation, with the assistance of your local ETFO leaders and Joint Health and Safety Committees if necessary.     

ETFO will continue to represent members at provincial and local tables  to address health and safety concerns.  Members and parents are invited to join lobbying efforts for a safe reopening of schools at 

ETFO will continue to monitor this evolving situation and, as events unfold, will update this website with information related to the reopening of schools.  The links along the left side will direct you to the most useful websites for more information.  The list below includes links to useful documents on a variety of specific topics as well as a tip sheet outlining Your Rights and Your Employer’s Duties. 

ETFO will also continue to communicate information through the COVID-19-FAQ newsletter.  Members who are not receiving ETFO communications can update their information by filling out the form located at this link:

Ontario COVID-19 school screening tool

COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres

Preventing COVID-19: Tips for Children Attending School

PHO FAQ Schools and COVID-19

Cold Weather Tips for Schools

Physical Distancing

Masks and PPE


Cleaning and Disinfection

Self-Isolation and Self-Monitoring

Subject Association Guidance


Inspection Checklists


Workplace Illness, Exposure and Accommodations Info from Prevention Link

Information from Fire Marshall

Protection from the Coronavirus and Influenza

School boards take direction from local public health services on what steps to take to protect staff and students from new and emerging viruses, like COVID-19 and influenza outbreaks. 

Advice from public health may vary and change as the situation evolves locally and provincially. Check your school board’s internal communications for recent updates from Public Health which may speak to how public health your school board will be advised on such things as whether to self-quarantine and if additional cleaning protocols are necessary.

To prevent transmission, school boards should be providing reminders on practicing proper hygiene techniques, staying home from work if you are sick, and ensuring soap and paper towels are available at sinks for handwashing.

If you have concerns related to your school board’s response to COVID-19 and influenza, speak to your principal and, if your concerns persist, contact your local ETFO health and safety representative or office. 

A hot house for infection

Avoiding contact with people who carry infection can be a real challenge in an elementary school.  Routine practices are essential for preventing and controlling infection. For example:

  • Hand hygiene that includes washing at a sink with soap and paper towels and access to hand sanitizers
  • Protective gloves – and the training for proper use – for staff who could come into contact with blood or body fluids
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette such as the use and disposal of paper tissue; coughing or sneezing into the elbow
  • Adequate custodial staffing and  procedures to properly clean high touch surfaces including washrooms, door knobs and shared equipment

In addition, people who are too sick to be at school should stay at home until they are well again.  Report any concerns about infection prevention and control to your principal.  It’s the  principal’s job to investigate and deal with your report. Tell your steward and your health and safety representative about your concerns.  Get in touch with your ETFO local for more support. Infection prevention and control can help to reduce sick days!

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