School health and safety during COVID-19

  1. Staying safe and healthy
  2. Monitoring illness and testing positive
  3. Recovering from the pandemic
  4. Mental health and wellness supports

As COVID-19 public health orders have now ended, we and the Chief Medical Officer of Healthare providing general guidance to help teachers, administrative staff, students and families prepare for the upcoming 2022-23 school year. These are not mandatory requirements. 

  1. Staying safe and healthy

    We all have a role to play in keeping our schools safe and healthy. The most important thing you can do is stay home when you are sick.  

    Other steps we can take to protect ourselves and others include: 

    • getting vaccinated; 
    • choosing to wear a mask; and 
    • practising good respiratory and hand hygiene. 


    The decision to wear a mask or face covering is a personal choice for everyone. We should all respect and support peoples choices.


    Ventilation helps keep indoor air fresh and healthy. 

    • All mechanical heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in schools are inspected and cleaned regularly. 
    • All  schools have high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters for using in shared learning spaces. 
    • We encourage school staff to open windows and doors to improve natural ventilation if the weather permits.  

  2. Monitoring illness and testing positive

    How are we monitoring illness at school? 

    We work with Yukon Communicable Disease Control to monitor the possible spread of communicable diseases in schools. 

    This process is known as school-based illness surveillance. It helps us identify and manage illness within schools. It is a successful tool used for many years before the pandemic. 

    In this process: 

    • principals notify Yukon Communicable Disease  Control when there are an above-average number of absences due to reported illness, and 
    • Yukon Communicable Disease Control evaluates information provided by school principals on an ongoing basis. 

    When needed, Yukon Communicable Disease Control investigates and works closely with the school administration to provide actionable public health advice. 

    Do I need to test for COVID-19? 

    Testing is a personal choice. If you choose not to test, follow the guidance on whether your child should go to school, daycare or take part in activities.

    What happens if I test positive? 

    If you or your child test positive for COVID-19, follow the online guidance on what to do.  

    Do I need to tell my school about my positive test?  

    No. Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are not required to notify the school about their positive result. To protect personal privacy, schools cannot use test result information about students or staff members to notify other people. 

    If you contact your school to notify them about your absence, you can let the school know it's due to illness and, if you choose, tell them it's because of a positive COVID-19 test. 

    When can students or staff return to school?  

    Can my child go to school if a family member tests positive for COVID-19? 

    Follow the guidance for close contacts. If your child is feeling well, they can attend school. 

    Why would a school move to remote learning? 

    We'll keep as many students in schools as safely as possible. 

    Yukon schools adapt their operations as needed, based on their specific situation in each school and community. Closing a school or moving to remote learning is a last resort. 

    There are 2 reasons why a school would close or shift to remote learning. We're prepared for both situations. 

    1. Operational: if there are not enough staff to meet the school’s operational needs, the superintendent can recommend the school move to remote learning or temporarily close. This situation may occur if a lot of staff are absent from work.  

    We need enough staff to meet the required levels for: 

    • teaching; 
    • supervision; and  
    • support. 

    2. Public health: the Chief Medical Officer of Health may recommend temporarily closing a school and moving to remote or blended learning. 


  3. Recovering from the pandemic

    We’ve learned several lessons while navigating the pandemic. We need to use these lessons to help students readjust and catch up.  

    Over the past few years, we've heard the importance of looking at the whole person. To understand a student’s overall needs, we need to look at them: 

    • academically,  
    • culturally,  
    • emotionally, and  
    • physically. 

    By looking at the whole person, we can find the best way to support their learning and wellbeing. 

    The next 2 years will be about addressing the impacts of the pandemic on students. This includes:

    Learn more by reading about our pandemic recovery plan.  

  4. Mental health and wellness supports

    Visit these resources for support with mental health and wellness.